Paul Hardy's Lachenal English Concertina - 57544

Pictures of Lachenal 57544

rhs side

Description of Lachenal 57544

It is hexagonal with 48 coloured bone keys. The ends are rosewood or mahogony fretwork. The bellows are 5-fold black. 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". The aperture on the other side which should have the serial number is empty. However the number 57544 is stamped on both the reedpans. This would date it to about 1929. Interestingly, the bellows are stamped with 55936, which would be from about 1927, so maybe they were a swap from an earlier machine.

Another oddity is that it has Wheatstone compact thumbstraps, rather than the original ones which would have gone to thumbscrews over the edge.

My time with this concertina

The instrument was bought in August 2014 from Michael J Bowman auctions through the Invaluable web service. My winning bid was 190, but with commissions and shipping etc it cost about 250.

Condition on arrival was OK, (considering its age), but it had obviously not been played in decades. There were various notes not sounding in one direction, and the bellows were very stiff. The reeds are steel, in brass shoes. It is tuned to modern concert pitch of A=440.

On further investigation, the bellows leather was very dry and brittle, and two gussets had cracked, leaking air. I applied neatsfoot oil to the leather of the gussets (three applications a week apart), and mended three gussets and two corners with skived leather patches. I also replaced a few pads and filled a small hairline crack in the padboard. It then became quite playable.

More Pictures of Lachenal 57544

Reedpans Bellows LHS
Reedpan Bellows LHS

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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