Paul Hardy's 2nd Lachenal Concertina - 30566

Description of Concertina 30566

It is hexagonal with 48 bone keys. The ends are rosewood or mahogany fretwork. The bellows are black, with a green stars on white coloured patterned transfer on each segment. It is an English concertina, which means that it produces the same note when a key is pressed, regardless of whether the bellows are going in or out. The other main type of concertina is the Anglo, which gives different notes according to bellows direction, like a mouth organ does.

One one end, in an oval aperture in the fretwork can be read "Lachenal & Co, Patent Concertina Manufacturer, London", as can be seen in this picture. At the other end is a serial number,30566, dating from around 1889. The original thin white leather baffles were present. It has its original box, wood with velvet lining. Unfortunately this holds it in an 'ends-up' position, which was responsible for the damage to the valves (see below).

Initial state of this concertina

The instrument was bought via the Internet from Alec Martin in Bolton, Lancashire, UK. It was in a very bad condition, with all the pads, bushings having rotted, several springs gone, and one thumbstrap broken. You can see the state of the action in this picture. The reeds are a strange mixture of brass and steel, with the steel ones badly rusted, as visible in this picture. You can also see that the valve leathers were warped, because it had been stored in its box on end for many years. Two of the brass end bolts were snapped off, and most of the other screws badly rusted.
Lachenal 30566 picture Lachenal 30566 picture Lachenal 30566 picture

Restoration of this concertina

I stripped it down and bought 130 worth of spares from Steve Dickinson of C Wheatstone & Co in Stowmarket. I re-french-polished the ends, replaced all the pads, valves and bushings, and re-assembled. Initially the bushings were too tight around the keys (felt too thick), but they settled better.

left after right after side after action after
Left after Right after Side after Action after

Once I had it playable, I concluded that this concertina's reeds are a mess. As well as being a mix of brass and steel, they are in old pitch (1/4 tone sharp from modern concert pitch), and many are out of tune from that. So, I decided to use this as the basis for a MIDI concertina.

MIDI concertina

See the page on Paul Hardy's MIDI Concertina - Lachenal 30566 converted.


Do you know anything more about this concertina ?

Use paul at paulhardy dot net to send me an email message if you know anything about this instrument.


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