The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-099.

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Item Type: Concertina

Summary Labels and Serial Numbers End Frets Fingering System Straps and Holding Devices Fret Baffle Action Board Reeds and Reed Pans Bellows Case and Other


Full Description: A C Wheatstone & Co "May Fair" English 30-Key concertina, No 1219. One of the budget models designed by Harry Minting, and made (together with a similar "Anglo" model) after production resumed post-war in 1949. This model may be from around 1958, since a carol sheet from the Radio Times of December 1958, and various handwritten keyboard charts are in the original square embossed plastic-covered carrying case. It does include a serial number, 1219. It was not until about 1949 that high quality Wheatstone concertinas were being made as before the war. Wheatstone's post-war production also featured both this "May Fair" concertina (a budget range of English and Anglo concertinas), and a revised Duet model. The "May Fair" English Tutor is described at see Item E45, and there are examples in the Collection at Items NC.5.4.1-004 .

Concertina Summary: A C Wheatstone & Co "May Fair" English 30-Key concertina, No 1219. One of the budget models produced after production resumed post-war in 1949. Crimped flat aluminium ends, plastic keys, aluminium accordion-style reed frames, plastic veneered end-frames.

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: C Wheatstone & Co

Maker Links: C Wheatstone & Co.

Wheatstone Ledgers Link: These models not in Ledgers

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: The aluminium ends plates have "The May Fair English Concertina" impressed above each end's keys, and the thumb-straps' twin clasp buckles have "Wheatstone" stamped upon them.

Principal Serial Number: 1219, stamped into the plastic veneer of the lower bout of LH End-frame.

System Type: A 30-Key "English" system, RH: 15 Keys, LH: 15 Keys.

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-099.

Maker Details

Wheatstone & Co. were founded in 1824, and survived until 1974. In 1975 the company was refounded by Steve Dickinson.

C. Wheatstone & Co was established in London, England by Charles Wheatstone (uncle to Sir Charles and William Dolman Wheatstone) at the beginning of the 19th Century. They moved to 20 Conduit Street, London, England in 1824. After the death of William in 1862, the firm was taken over by Edward Chidley, a distant relation. Edward Chidley died in 1899, and the firm was then controlled by his sons Edward and Percy. In 1905 the firm moved to 15 West Street.

After the death of the younger Edward Chidley in 1943, part of the firm was sold to Besson & Co., who were taken over by Boosey & Hawkes in 1948. In 1958 they moved to Duncan Terrace, Islington, North London. In 1961 the Duncan Terrace property was sold, and the remains of Wheatstone & Co. were moved to the Boosey & Hawkes factory in Edgware, Middlesex. The company ceased trading on the death of its last employee in 1974.

The remains of the company were purchased by Steve Dickinson in 1975.

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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.