Paul Hardy's #19 George Case Ebony Treble Concertina - 2420

Pictures of George Case Ebony Treble Concertina - 2420

left bellows right

Description of George Case Concertina 2420

It is hexagonal with 48 flat-top nickel keys. The ends are ebony veneer with elegant fretwork, and fine inlaid mother of pearl decorations in the corners. The 5-fold bellows were in medium condition with patterned papers but with a severe split near the right end.

One one end, in an oval aperture in the fretwork can be read: "Patent / CONCERTINA / By / GEORGE CASE / BOOSEY & SONS, HOLLES ST / LONDON". Boosey and Sons took over George Case in 1856, then became Boosey & Co in 1864.

At the other end there is no serial number visible in the aperture, even though the chamois leather baffles are still present, but on the inside, the serial number of 2420 is clearly stamped on both ends of the inside reedpans, and on the inside of the bellows frame. This probably dates it from around 1859.

It is similar to this example in Neil Wayne's collection in the Horniman museum. For more information on George Case, and clues that helped in the dating of this concertina based on changes in company names, see Steve Flint's "Case Notes". A price list of Case concertinas from 1860 shows that this was their top model "The Patent Concert Concertina", costing 12 guineas (12.60). It has its probably original rosewood wooden hexagonal box.

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.

Initial assessment of this concertina

The instrument was bought in June 2023 from an email contact, for 350. Condition on arrival was understandably poor, as it hadn't been played in many decades. It had a bellows split, and holes in the bellows corners, drooping valves, flattened pads, and broken springs. But the steel reeds were not rusty and the woodwork not warped, so not disastrous considering its age of 160 years! I couldn't determine tuning at this stage as it wheezingly played multiple notes, but it seemed to be sharp of modern pitch.

The main oddity of its construction is the presence of reed chambers on both sides of the reedpan. On an ordinary concertina the inside of the reedpan is smooth, but on this one (and in my other George Case trebles), there are internal pockets on the interior of the reedpans, facing the bellows, to create resonant cavities for each of the inner reeds. In this concertina, these are closed off by a full-width wooden baffle with teardrop-shaped holes for each reed cavity. See photos below.

Initial Pictures of George Case Concertina 2420

left bellows side hole right
Left side Bellows Hole Right side
padboard pan inside pan outside action
Left padboard L reedpan in L Reedpan out L Action
bellows in Baffle outside Baffle inside
Inside bellows L baffle out L baffle in

Restoration of this concertina

I'm in contact with Steve Dickinson of the Wheatstone company, about getting spares to start restoration.

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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