The Concertina Museum: C15.01-003

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Item Type: Wheatstone Symphonium No 128


Full Description: A Wheatstone Symphonium, serial number 128, with nickel-silver reeds, 24 keys, and fully engraved with Wheatstone’s 20 Conduit Street address. This model is a later 24-key version, with a full four columns of keys either side, (one ivory top-stud missing from LH B-flat Key), and with a button layout identical to that which would be used on the very earliest Open Pallet Wheatstone English system concertina. (See the Open Pallet in The Collection). In later models, such as the Horniman Museum Wayne Collection 44-key Symphonium, Museum No M17a-1996, their layout of keys more fully introduces the ”English” fingering system, used on the first of the Wheatstone concertinas. The 1829 Patent has images of an early form of bellows powered instrument, with reeds and levers from the Symphonium added to it. Symphonium C15.01-002 in the Collection includes some pages of images from Neil Wayne’s research upon an incomplete 20-key ”Gliding-Reed” Symphonium, in the Horniman Museum’s Boosey Collection as Item 2004.808, Entry No E83.170, with reed-tongues of gold, (some of fish-tailed profile, and in which each reed can be shortened or lengthened via a sliding adjuster.
There are around twelve to fifteen known examples of this early Wheatstone invention, (patented in 1829, but probably in production a few years earlier):
* three are listed here in the Concertina Museum Collection
* two are in the Horniman Museum Wayne Collection
(Symphonium, Serial number 188, Museum No M16-1996, and Symphonium, No serial number, Museum No M17a-1996) - see image here
* one is in The Smithsonian Institution Washington, USA
* two are in The Science Museum , London
* one is in the National Music Museum, South Dakota, USA,
* four are in the Chambers Collection, Co Clare.
* one is in the Museum of Fine arts, Boston, USA,
* one remains in the Minting Family collection

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum: C15.01-003

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The Concertina Museum Collection

Created August 2009 by Neil Wayne
Last Modified 07 February 2012 by Neil Wayne, Chris Flint, Wes Williams

This page created Tuesday 14 February 2012.