Paul Hardy's #5 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
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
1891. 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, for £200. 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.
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.
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.
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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