Instrument Section C-280 to C-325, Maker - Louis Lachenal and Lachenal & Co
Perhaps the most prolific of the London-based concertina makers, the Lachenal company was founded by the Swiss engineer Louis Lachenal, after his years firstly as a craftsman, then as a manager, at the Wheatstone workshops at 20 Conduit Street. A decent survey of Lachenal's family history and his introduction of mass-production techniques into concertina manufacturing is that of Stephen Chambers, now on concertina.com.
After around 18 years of concertina manufacture at the Conduit Street workshops, (1830 to 1848), the new design of concertina resulting from Louis Lachenal's new manufacturing processes were announced in Wheatstone's promotional leaflet of mid-1848, the sole surviving copy of which is now in the Horniman Museum Wayne Collection.
The 40 or so Lachenal concertinas in the Collection show the development of his 48-key concertinas based on the designs he had produced whilst at Wheatstones, but the Lachenal factory built up a widespread network of dealers throughout Britain and around the world; we show below a selection of links to some of the dealers' labels appearing on Lachenal instruments in the Collection.
Dating Lachenal-made instruments is not as easy as with Wheatstones, for which the Wayne Ledgers preserve the date of sale details of thousands of Wheatstone instruments (they are now in the Horniman Museum, and are now fully searchable on-line here). The leading researcher Randy Merris is maintaining a database of all know dating information on Lachenal-made instruments, summarised in this link to the forum pages on concertina.net.
We list below short summaries of some of the Lachenal instruments in the Collection, including Item C.310, a concert instrument made in quarter-sawn Australian She-oak, and with an engraved silver plaque. It was owned by Marie Lachenal, Louis's daughter, who was a noted performer and promoter of the family's instruments throughout the 1870s and 1880s.
C.280 Louis Lachenal No 5645:- An early two-row Anglo, with simple fretwork, flat bone keys stamped with numbers, and the early "Louis Lachenal" label.
C.281 Louis Lachenal No 6038:- An early 48-key English concertina, with Louis label, fret baffles held in by corner mounts, and the early "single depth action frame". Louis Lachenal circular pan-label.
C.282 Louis Lachenal No 6572:- An early 48-key English concertina, with Louis label, over which had been placed a Keith, Prowse & Co label claiming to be its manufacturer. As is usually the case when Lachenal instruments are "re-badged" by dealers, the Lachenal name and address have been excised from the circular pan-labels.
C.283 Louis Lachenal No 6946:- An early 48-key English concertina, the first in the Collection with Louis's post 1848 design features, including bevelled rosewood ends, gilt-embossed bellows frames and thumb-straps, floral scrolled pattern bellows papers, white leather sub-fret baffle with serial number stamp (rather than pine boards), and scrolled brass corner inlays. Still with Louis label, and Louis Lachenal pan labels. An early appearance of reeds stamped (in a tiny font-size) with the reed-frame size-number, corresponding to the number specified on the circular pan-labels.
C.286 Louis Lachenal No 8354:- An early 48-key English concertina, the first in the Collection with Amboyna-wood ends and silver-capped keys, and with many of Louis's post 1848 design features.
C.287 Louis Lachenal No 10052:- An early 32-key English concertina of "budget" style, the first Lachenal in the Collection with a special smaller pan label detailing just the 16 reeds to the face of each inner pan. The instrument has a spurious "C Wheatstone's Patent Concertina" label, at the very top of which, is added in very small lettering "equal to"! Now since the instrument still has the Louis Lachenal address on each of the pan-labels (such address details are almost always excised if the instrument is marketed or re-labelled by a dealer) one might assume that this spurious label is of Louis Lachenal origin. There is a date in spidery ink to the inner bellows fold of "21 - 5 - 70", in a hand often seen inked inside concertinas of this period.
C.288 Louis Lachenal No 10123:- A high quality 48-key English concertina, the earliest in the Collection having high quality Amboyna-wood bevelled ends and sides, and with Louis's post 1848 design features, gilt-embossed bellows frames and thumb-straps, floral scrolled pattern bellows papers, white leather sub-fret baffle (rather than pine boards). Still with Louis label, and Louis Lachenal pan labels. An early appearance of reeds stamped (in a tiny font-size) with the reed-frame size-number, corresponding to the number specified on the circular pan-labels. Original fine rosewood-veneered case.
C.289 Louis Lachenal No 10577:- A high quality 48-key English concertina, with highly-figured rosewood ends, brass inlays, gilt-embossed bellows & thumb-strap leathers, and engraved thumb-strap screws. Glass keys with bevelled tops, inserting into turned brass sub-fret mounts. A degree of recent "restoration" has led to the instrument now having a reproduction Louis Lachenal label, new pallets, new valve-flaps to reeds, and a new sub-fret baffle. The inner action face has the stamp of David J Leese, restorer and repairer, dated 2000.
C.292 Louis Lachenal No 11140:- A rosewood "Stretched Octagon" 48-Key single-action "English" bass concertina, with reed-pans screwed to inner action board, large square-ended brass reeds with two-riveted brass tongues, each screwed to the pan face. Louis Lachenal label, serial number on sub-fret white chamois baffles. Original rosewood veneered case.
C.310 Louis Lachenal No 13456:- A concert instrument made in quarter-sawn Australian She-oak, and with an engraved silver name-plaque. It was owned by Marie Lachenal, [http://www.concertina.com/merris/index.htm#merris-marie-lachenal ] Louis's daughter, who was a noted performer and promoter of her family's instruments throughout the 1870s and 1880s.
C.317 Louis Lachenal No 106:- Louis Lachenal 20+1-key, Anglo, brass reeds. This instrument has the lowest recorded serial number for a Lachenal Anglo, and features a very early version of the Louis Lachenal oval paper label, in an early Victorian font style and design. Original straps, serial number on sub-fret white chamois baffles, very basic fret pattern, numbered keys, original alterations to air-valve arrangement.
Here is a selection of the Dealers' Labels found on instruments within the Lachenal section of the Concertina Museum Collection:
C.290 Louis Lachenal 20-Key Anglo, No10986:- A Chappell & Co label
C.293 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 14623:- A David Hyam label
C.294 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 15019:- A Keith, Prowse & Co label, also with an F C Keat circular label on inner face of sub-fret pine baffle.
C.297 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 16191:- A Chas
C.298 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 18209:- A Chappell & Co label
C.299 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 20678:- A Butler, Haymarket label
C.301 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 25978:- A Thos Dawkins, & Co, London label
C.302 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 28070:- A Graham and Adam (Newcastle upon Tyne) label.
C.303 Louis Lachenal 48-Key English, No 29815:- A "Manufactured for Keith, Prowse & Co" label.
C.306 Louis Lachenal 20+1 Key Anglo, No 53763:- A main "Keith, Prowse & Co Manufacturers" label, and a lower sub-fret label of L Niebour, Kingston on Thames.
C.308 Lachenal & Co piano-fingered "Jedcertina" No 200040:- With "The Jedcertina (registered) British make" label. Made by Lachenal & Co for dealers J E Dallas & Co.
C.309 Lachenal & Co Maccann Duet, 61 Key, gilt metal ends, No 1819. Internal dealer's stamp on inner pan face from "Maccann's English Concertina Academy, Liverpool; Lachenal & Co's Instruments". Whether THE Maccann, or merely a use of his name, is not known.
C.311 Louis Lachenal 48-key, single depth end-frame, brass reeds, No 8484:- A W B Fisher, Gray's Inn Road label.
C.312 Louis Lachenal 48-key, single depth end-frame, brass reeds, No 6160:- A Smith & Co John Youens manufacturer & professor label. (The pan-label Lachenal details excised).
C.313 Louis Lachenal 48-key, brass inlays, gilt, No 16178:- A standard Louis Lachenal end label, but a large Miller's Music Warehouse label to inner action face.
C.314 Louis Lachenal 48-key, single depth end-frame, brass reeds, No 20172:- A Metzler & Co label, plus a further oval pine-board label for W. Orme Musical Instrument Warehouse, Derby & Burton.
C.316 Louis Lachenal 48-key, single depth end-frame, brass reeds, No 78618:- An E J Ward Music Warehouse Liverpool oval label, plus an enamel plaque for E J Ward Musical Instrument Maker screwed to bellows, and large E J Ward circular label with many trade details in the lid of the case. All addresses are 18 St Anne Street, Liverpool.
C.317 Louis Lachenal 20+1-key, Anglo, brass reeds, No 106:- This instrument has the lowest recorded serial number for a Lachenal Anglo, and features a very early version of the Louis Lachenal oval paper label, in an early Victorian font style and design.
|The Concertina Museum||Concertinas||Related Instruments||Related Items||Back|
Created December 2010 by Neil Wayne
Modified March 2011 by Wes Williams
This page created Wednesday 30 March 2011.