The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-233.

Previous Section Summary Help Next

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 mid-1850s period 48-key rosewood-ended Rock Chidley 48-Key English concertina, with the later "High Holborn" label wording. Serial No 1702, with reed-pan address stamps of Rock Chidley. Serial No 1702, and original rosewood case. The bellows are not "Bookbinder's" Style, and are of 4-folds, no silk-reinforced bottom-bout to bellows-frame. The bellows have common "Gilt crosses and dots" bellows papers. Fine original thumb-straps.

Concertina Summary: Rock Chidley 48-Key rosewood-ended English concertina, with the earlier "High Holborn" label wording. Less intricate fret pattern to earlier models. Serial No 1702, with inner reed-pan address stamps of Rock Chidley, and original rosewood case, re-lined with gold fabric.

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: Rock Chidley

Maker Links: The most detailed source of information on the genealogy of the Chidleys, and the premises, manufacturing and marketing of Rock Chidley instruments is Chris Flint's paper at: A good survey by Wes Williams of Rock and Edward Chidley's various addresses and some noted instruments is at:

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: "Rock Chidley Manufacturer, 135 High Holborn LONDON". The "Rock Chidley" stamp with address, is on the inner face of the reed-pans.

System Type: 48-Key Treble English system

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-233.

Maker Details

Rock Chidley produced concertinas from about 1850 to 1868.

Rock Chidley and younger brother Edward Chidley both worked for Wheatstone. They were distantly related to Charles and William Wheatstone via shared Barnwood, Gloucestershire ancestors.

Rock Chidley produced the often featured ivory ended instrument for Wheatstone in 1848, left Wheatstone sometime around 1850 with his brother Edward, and set up at 135 High Holborn,London near New Oxford St., their father's house. They exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1856 they are listed as having further factory premises at Hollingworth Street North, & Wellington Street, St. James's Road, Holloway.

Rock Chidley expanded his business interests into property and a sawmill, but ran into financial trouble in 1862 when he became bankrupt. After another bankruptcy in 1868, the concertina business disappears from listings.

Edward Chidley seems to have made some concertinas in his own name, and is independently listed from 1861 to 1870 at 28 Store St, Bedford Sq. He began producing concertinas for Wheatstone about 1866, taking control of the firm soon after. By 1870 Edward is listed as an Importer and Maker of Harmoniums and Concertinas at Wheatstone's address.

Previous Section Summary Help Next

Please email comments or reports of errors to

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.