The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-120.

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Item Type: Concertina

Summary Labels and Serial Numbers End Frets Fingering System Straps and Holding Devices Fret Baffle Action Board Reeds and Reed Pans Bellows Case and Other


Full Description: An 1843 period 44-key Wheatstone English system, No 630, with additional new features showing the final stages of the progression to what may be called the "Standard" Wheatstone 48-key design. This model has 22 keys each side (not yet in the later 48-key format). The accidental keys are black-stained (not cored) in common with most later instruments, and as has now become standard, the keys have their lower ends turned to create an integral ivory pin which enter the action board. The action board is now divided - into an upper fretwork layer (frets now integral with the top half of the end-frames) and a lower frame encircling the action boards: this is another early model in the Museum's Collection that has this divided-end arrangment, The Action board's face fits FLUSH against the the bellows-frame; The reed-pan no longer sits on a French cradle within the bellows-frame, but rests on corner pieces within the conventional bellows-frame. The pan has a large central hole; This instrument shows the another early appearance within the Collection of the use of "Gilt Circle and Dot" patterned white bellows papers, and of the use of a silk reinforcement glued over the leather of the bottom bout of the bellows-frame. The note-names are no longer stamped upon the pan, and the grain of the rosewood veneer to the sides of the action tray is now linear around the frame The fretwork ends have the oval embouchure to the RH end, revealing the familiar oval paper "His Majesty's...." label glued upon the sub-fret pine boards, and the small bird-profiled embouchure to LH end reveals the serial number stamped upon the sub-fret pine board. The pine board is held in place by a trio of cylindrical wooded columns that receive the end-srews from the Starp, finger-rest and upper fretwork areas, and is supported by a trio of rectangular supports with chamois tops in the corners of the action area. The Action is again made up of a slotted pivot column with steel wound springs, and has brass-sheet levers, broader within the pivot area; the pallets are now circular cardboard, unlike earlier models. The square-end tapered-framed reeds slide into routed grooves within each reed chamber in what has become the standard arrangment. The nickel reed-tongues are secured by a pair of brass screws.

Concertina Summary: An 1843 period 44-key Wheatstone English system, No 639, with additional new features showing the final stages of the progression to what may be called the "Standard" Wheatstone 48-key design.

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: C Wheatstone

Maker Links: Concertina, Charles Wheatstone No 630.

Wheatstone Ledgers Link: Sold to Mr Peachey on 1st March 1843.

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: By His Majesty's Letters Patent, C Wheatstone, Inventor, 20 Conduit Street, Regent Street, London.

Principal Serial Number: 630.

System Type: 44-key English system.

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-120.

Maker Details

Wheatstone & Co. were founded in 1824, and survived until 1974. In 1975 the company was refounded by Steve Dickinson.

C. Wheatstone & Co was established in London, England by Charles Wheatstone (uncle to Sir Charles and William Dolman Wheatstone) at the beginning of the 19th Century. They moved to 20 Conduit Street, London, England in 1824. After the death of William in 1862, the firm was taken over by Edward Chidley, a distant relation. Edward Chidley died in 1899, and the firm was then controlled by his sons Edward and Percy. In 1905 the firm moved to 15 West Street.

After the death of the younger Edward Chidley in 1943, part of the firm was sold to Besson & Co., who were taken over by Boosey & Hawkes in 1948. In 1958 they moved to Duncan Terrace, Islington, North London. In 1961 the Duncan Terrace property was sold, and the remains of Wheatstone & Co. were moved to the Boosey & Hawkes factory in Edgware, Middlesex. The company ceased trading on the death of its last employee in 1974.

The remains of the company were purchased by Steve Dickinson in 1975.

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The Concertina Museum Collection

Created August 2009 by Neil Wayne
Last Modified 07 February 2012 by Neil Wayne, Chris Flint, Wes Williams

This page created Tuesday 14 February 2012.