This concertina has been soldType : English
Make : Wheatstone
Model : 48 Key Treble
Price : £900
This instrument only came in the other day- bought sight unseen from an auction-but the minute I picked it up I fell in love with it and got it done straight away.
It is an early Wheatstone from 1852 No 4592 and was at the time a top quality instrument with bushed metal buttons, brass reeds, 4 fold bellows and absolutely beautiful rosewood ends. Incidentally it has the major notes engraved on the tops of the metal buttons-which I have never seen before. It cost 10 guineas-which was a lot in those days!
What makes it so special is that it is as immaculate as you can get for an old concertina-with no cracks, no damage to the bellows and the only marks are wear marks between the keys that were used-and it looks like it was hardly ever used.
The other special thing about it is that it can be looked up in the Wheatstone archives where it is listed as being sold to "Lady Henrietta Clinton" who from my research appears to the Duchess of Newcastle which would account for the lack of playing and the fingernail marks. How it came to be for sale in an auction is a mystery-but then I wish all my concertinas could talk-what tales they could tell!
It plays as you would expect an early Wheatstone to play. It is mellow and gentle-probably helped by the baffles. It is definately not a session instrument-it is a "chamber" instrument -which it was designed to be.
It has a lovely wooden tone and is certainly fast enough but it is a venerable old lady and would appreciate gentle playing-maybe for a singer.
Comes in its original case-which has not been restored-but which could easily be so as it is generally sound.
Try and find another of this period in such condition and with such history!