Item Type: Concertina
Full Description: A later period Nickolds Bros 48-Key mahogany-ended English concertina, Serial Nos 196 and 256, in pencil only, with the anonymous "Improved English Concertina, warranted London Manufactured" label wording. Another Nickolds with bevelled sides to the fretwork. The instrument has most internal features intact, but no internal Number stamps or labels. Another appearance of the Nickolds fret pattern with the trefoil feature in the lower section of the frets. Round-end brass reeds. Serial Nos 196 and 256, in pencil only, with original mahogany case, joints secured with insetwood fillets. Round-end brass reeds, steel tongues. Serial Nos 196 and 256, in pencil only.
Concertina Summary: A Nickolds 48-Key mahogany-ended English concertina, Serial Nos 196 and 256, in pencil only, with the anonymous "Improved English Concertina, warranted London Manufactured" label wording. Serial Nos 196 and 256, in pencil only, with original rosewood veneered case.
Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper
Maker Links: Wes Williams' survey of minor concertina makers has an entry about Nickolds Bros here: [www.concertinas.org.uk/others.htm#nickolds], and Richard Carlin's interview with Frank Butler has much information about Austin, George Jones, and other early Wheatstone craftsmen who went on to become makers see: [http://www.concertina.com/carlin/frank-butler-interview/index.htm].
Region of Manufacture: London
Main Maker's Label Wording: An anonymous "Improved English Concertina, warranted London Manufactured" label wording.
Principal Serial Number: No Serial Numbe r within the LH cartouche, just a small oval paper label "Steel Reeds". A pencilled number 286 is on the inner face of reed-pan, a further pencilled serial number 196 on the inner side panel of the bellows-frame.
System Type: 48-Key Treble English system
Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:D-270.
The Nickolds Family produced concertinas from around 1855 to 1888.
John Nickolds (b.1787 in Birmingham) was the toolmaker for Wheatstone with his own company at 5, Woodbridge St, Clerkenwell, and was replaced by Lachenal in 1848. He had two sons, Frederick Charles and Thomas, also involved with Wheatstone. The earliest listing discovered for any of the Nickolds family as a concertina maker appears in 1856; in 1851 John is listed as a 'machinist'.
Nickolds Bros are listed as operating from Woodbridge St. between 1856 and 1859. However in 1856 the brothers are also listed individually as:
F.C. Nickolds' company closed about 1888. Their sequence was:
Thomas Nickolds does not appear in any further listings, but is recorded in the 1881 census as a concertina maker, widowed and lodging in Newington.
One particular characteristic of Nickolds instruments is that the screw holes of the plate that fastens the reed to the shoe are open ended.
Listings for Nickolds Bros. in the 1920s in Enfield, Middlesex are for descendants of the same family.
Please email comments or reports of errors to
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.