Paul Hardy's #12 Lachenal English Concertina - 36733

Pictures of Lachenal 36733 before restoration

LHS top rhs

Description of Lachenal 36733

It is hexagonal with 48 coloured bone keys. The ends are rosewood or mahogony fretwork. The bellows are 4-fold with cross-patterned bellows papers. 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.

On arrival, the apertures in the fretwork which should have the serial number and the makers name were empty, and there was no baffle inside the fretwork, so the action was visible. However the number 36733 is stamped on both the reedpans, the bellows and the action frame. This would date it to about 1898.

My time with this concertina

The instrument was bought in October 2015 from Rikki Allman through Facebook. With shipping it cost about 210.

Condition on arrival was OK, (considering its age), but it had obviously not been played in decades. On first try at playing it, the right thumbstrap came off in my hand! There were various notes not sounding properly.

I replaced thumbstrap screws, exercised a few valves, and generally cleaned and polished the instrument It then became playable, though still in need of fettling. The reeds are steel (in good condition), in brass shoes. It was not tuned to modern concert pitch of A=440, but to old London philharmonic pitch of A=452.

Subsequently I've retuned the instrument to concert pitch (A=440), which involves filing the right amount of metal off the belly of 96 reeds - not a trivial task! I've replaced all 48 pads that close the air holes, and replaced some of the leather valves. I've also put in cloth baffles (red artificial silk) behind the fretwork to keep dust out (without impeding sound too much) and replaced new serial number and maker's name labels.

It's now a nice playable instrument, and available for loan or sale. See a short demonstration video of me playing it.

Pictures of Lachenal 36733 during restoration

Reeds in Reeds out Fretwork Action Padboards

Pictures of Lachenal 36733 after restoration

LHS rhs RHS Push RHS Pull

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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