The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-015.

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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: An 1843-6 period 44-key Wheatstone English system, No 612, with an early appearance within the Collection's Wheatstones of the "Circular Fret" design, in which intricate fretwork is replaced by an annular space between outer and inner parts of the ends, revealing a circular view of the sub-fret pine boards. This did not become a "Standard" Wheatstone design, though it was tried by the later makers such as Joseph Scates. This version has end-bolts in the centre of the sides of the action (unlike the corner positions in Instrument C-014 CW No 612). This design has conventional hexagonal pans, with triangular wooden corner supports (not the previously-used "French Cradle") and square-ended nickel-tongued reeds, with the later divided end- and action-levels. The bellows, though still of "Bookbinder's" Style, are of 5-folds, and have a silk-reinforced bottom-bout to bellows-frame, and the early "Circle & Dot" bellows papers.

Concertina Summary: Charles Wheatstone No 612 Circular Fret, single-action

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: C Wheatstone

Wheatstone Ledgers Link:

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: By his Majesty's Letters Patent, C Wheatstone, Inventor, 20 Conduit Street, Regent Street, London. ("C" under "s M" variant)

System Type: 44-key English

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-015.

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.