Very old concertinas do come up from time to time but they are usually worn out, perished and not worth restoration. This is a rare exception.
The label says “William Prowse, City Royal, Musical Depository, 48 Cheapside, London” interestingly the label is upside down-it looks original and could be the way Prowse marked his instruments.
Of course a lot of people put their dealers’ labels in concertinas that they hadn’t made but this definitely isn’t a Lachenal or Wheatstone. It has no number inside and no other clues as to might have made it if it wasn’t Prowse-and Prowse was a maker.
It has bone buttons, beautifully marked rosewood ends, nickel silver reeds with square cut ends-a sure sign of great age-and it also has the extra protective strips of that period on the bottom of the bellows-it could be shagreen.
It is in wonderful condition and the only thing to mention is an expansion crack on the left hand side-which is solid and simply cosmetic. The bellows are in wonderful ,original condition. I have left the original pads on it as they are airtight and cannot easily be replaced as they are much thinner than modern pads and to put new ones on would require bending the levers. I have put new valves on it and tuned it to concert pitch so it is a fully playing -and useable instrument. Again I left the original straps on it as they have some life in them and they show its wonderful condition as straps are the first thing to go on an instrument -and these are still sound.
It plays with that gentle internal sound of the early Victorian period -and it does play as well as anything of that time did.
Unleash your inner Regondi and get the sort of instrument that he would have played!
Of course early concertinas do not play as well as the later developed ones-but if you want to play music on an instrument of the 1840s or 50s -and sound just like they did-then this is for you-and I promise you that you won’t find many to touch it.
Make: William Prowse
Model: 48 Key Treble
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