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For sale now


A gorgeous metal-ended tenor/treble which I restored for its owner around 2 years ago, at which time it was fitted with new pads, valves, bushes, thumb-straps and wrist-straps. The bellows were given a cosmetic re-bind, and it was tuned to modern concert pitch. In the interim, he has decided that he hasn't got the time to improve his performance on both the concertina and the fiddle, and incomprehensibly, he has chosen the latter. Still, it's an ill wind... he offered it to me, and I snapped it up.

The serial number is 31957. Now, I have heard it claimed, by someone who knows far more about Aeolas than I do (and, incidentally, has a spectacular collection of them) that Wheatstone invested in new tooling at around the 31XXX mark, and consequently, instruments in the 31000 series are among the best of the best. I can't confirm the history, but I can confirm that this one is a superb player - fast, loud and well-balanced throughout its range.

One slight curiosity is that where you would normally find a low D# on the left hand, this one goes right down to Bb. It's not a common arrangement, though I have seen it before... and I love it!

Price: £3350

Wheatstone Aeola 56-key tenor-treble

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8-sided Crabb 64-key tenor-extended treble


Made in 1931, this is a rare example of a Crabb "Aeola", made even rarer by the amboyna veneers, gold-plated buttons and fittings, and tan leather bellows and straps.

It offers a range of four and a half octaves, which includes the bottom end from a tenor-treble, and the top end from an extended treble, and it is every bit as fast and responsive as you would expect of a top-quality vintage Crabb,

It has been the subject of a comprehensive restoration, with new pads, valves, bushes and springs. New wrist and thumb-straps have been fitted, the bellows have had a cosmetic re-bind, and the woodwork has been refinished in French polish. Finally, it has, of course, been tuned to Modern Concert Pitch (A=440Hz).

On the minus side, the left-hand end has had some slightly agricultural repairs to the fretwork, but it is sound and solid, and I thought it better to leave honest repairs visible than to try to disguise them. (And these imperfections are reflected in the price.)

It plays beautifully, and it could well be many years before you see another one like it offered for sale.

Price: £3250

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 64-key Edeophone MacCann duet

There's a good reason why you hardly ever see an Edeophone with new bellows. A standard, six-sided, six-fold set costs around £500. Double the number of sides and add, in this case, two more folds, and you can imagine what that does to the price!

However, everything else about this instrument convinced me that it was worth the time and effort of making and fitting new ones. It has a lovely set of reeds, plus new pads, valves, bushes, thumb-straps and wrist-straps. The woodwork has been French polished, and the reeds have been tuned to Modern Concert Pitch. 

It's a beautiful instrument, it plays as well as it looks - and the bellows will almost certainly outlast the new owner!

Price: £2450


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