The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:E-270.

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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: 48-Key English system concertina by Nickolds Bros, No 3146, Ivory keys, black leather bellows, baffles missing. Later crude leather thumb-straps, plain fret pattern. open-sided reed tongue securing crosspieces.The reeds have the unusual Nickolds' Style open-sided tongue-securing cross pieces, in common usage on many Nickolds-labelled instruments. Another appearance of the Nickolds fret pattern with the trefoil feature in the lower section of the frets. Its trio of end-securing screws are broad profiled steel, and neither pans, nor bellows are number-stamped or stamped with 'L' or 'R', though the inner face of the action board has the stamped Serial No 3146. The bellows papers have common "Stars-and-dots" papers. Hexagonal mahogany case.

Concertina Summary: 48-Key English system concertina by Nickolds Bros, No 3146, Ivory keys, black leather bellows, baffles missing. Hexagonal mahogany case.

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: Nickolds

Maker Links: Wes Williams' survey of minor concertina makers has an entry about Nickolds here:, and Richard Carlin's interview with Frank Butler has much information about Austin, George Jones, and other early Wheatstone craftsmen who went on to become makers see:

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: Label and baffles missing.

Principal Serial Number: Serial No 3146.

System Type: 48-Key Treble English system.

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:E-270.

Maker Details

The Nickolds Family produced concertinas from around 1855 to 1888.

John Nickolds (b.1787 in Birmingham) was the toolmaker for Wheatstone with his own company at 5, Woodbridge St, Clerkenwell, and was replaced by Lachenal in 1848. He had two sons, Frederick Charles and Thomas, also involved with Wheatstone. The earliest listing discovered for any of the Nickolds family as a concertina maker appears in 1856; in 1851 John is listed as a 'machinist'.

Nickolds Bros are listed as operating from Woodbridge St. between 1856 and 1859. However in 1856 the brothers are also listed individually as:
'Fredk. Chas. Nickolds, Goulden Terrace'
'Thos. Nickolds, 7 Lower Brunswick Terrace, Barnsbury Road, Islington.'

F.C. Nickolds' company closed about 1888. Their sequence was:

5 Woodbridge St [1856 - 64]
143 Holloway Road [by 1866]
44 Norland Rd, Notting Hill[by 1876]
F. C. Nickolds & Son, 203 New North Road,[by 1880]
156 Kingsland Road [by 1888]
159 Kingsland Road

Thomas Nickolds does not appear in any further listings, but is recorded in the 1881 census as a concertina maker, widowed and lodging in Newington.

One particular characteristic of Nickolds instruments is that the screw holes of the plate that fastens the reed to the shoe are open ended.

Listings for Nickolds Bros. in the 1920s in Enfield, Middlesex are for descendants of the same family.

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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.