Item Type: Concertina
Full Description: A simple 26-key grained mahogany ended English concertina, No 3134. The reeds have the unusual open-sided tongue-securing cross pieces, in common usage on Nickolds instruments. Another appearance of the Nickolds fret pattern with the trefoil feature in the lower section of the frets. Its trio of end-securing screws are broad profiled steel, and neither pans, nor bellows are number-stamped or stamped with 'L' or 'R', though the inner face of the pine subfret baffles have "L" and "R" in pencil. The bellows papers have the common "Gilt stars -and-dots" papers. No case.
Concertina Summary: 26-Key English system concertina by Nickolds, No 3134, with label absent. Ivory keys, green leather bellows, pine board sub-fret baffles, case missing.
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: No label
Principal Serial Number: No 3134 in the LH cartouche over the sub-fret pine baffles, no further serial number marks within the instrument.
System Type: 26-Key Treble English system
Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:D-272.
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.