The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-257.

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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 48-key "Keith, Prowse & Co"- style English with 2-ply Rosewood ends, silver capped keys, curliqued nickel inlays. and finger-rest leathers, and gilt-embossed green leather thumb-straps. Gilt-embossed 5-fold green leather bellows with gilt floral patterned white papers. Original rosewood-veneered hexagonal case, with lock, key and ivory embouchure.

Concertina Summary: A 48-key "Keith, Prowse & Co" English, end label missing, serial No 1342, with nickel-silver inlaid Rosewood ends, silver keys, gilt embossed bellows and finger-rest leathers. Images may still show previous paper label for C-210, GC 1342. Possibly partly of Geo Case manufacture.

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: Keith, Prowse & Co, with possible Geo Case or Rock Chidley parts or manufacture.

Maker Links: A good survey by Wes Williams of the Prowse family's various addresses and some noted instruments is at:

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: Label missing

Principal Serial Number: 1342 throughout, in ink on some parts.

System Type: Standard 48-Key Treble English system

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:C-257.

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.

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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.