The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:D-277.

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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 single-action 22-Key English system concertina from the Nickolds workshops, No 1726, with a later variant of the Simpson dealer's label. The Collection does have examples of Concertinas that are likely to have been substantially of Simpson manufacture - see Items C-360 and C-363 . Ivory keys, green leather bellows, pine board sub-fret baffles. The reeds have the unusual open-sided tongue-securing cross pieces, in common usage on Nickolds instruments. Its trio of end-securing screws are broad brass (not blued steel), and neither pans, bellows-frame or frets are number-stamped, though the inner faces of the action boards has "1726" and are stamped with 'L' or 'R', and the bellows-frame just has "L" and "R" stamps. The bellows papers have common "Gilt crosses-and-dots" papers. Original softwood, paper-clad case with extensive advertising poster in the lid for Simpson's concertinas, tutors, books etc

Concertina Summary: A 22-Key Nickolds English, No 1726, with Simpson dealer's label, original case with extensive advertising poster for Simpson's concertinas, tutors, books etc.

Owner or Collection: Concertina Museum, Belper

Maker: Nickolds

Maker Links: Wes Williams' survey of minor concertina makers has an entry about Nickolds Bros here: [], 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: [].

Region of Manufacture: London

Main Maker's Label Wording: A later variant of the dealer's label of Simpson, this one NOT including the "By her Majesty's letters patent" claim! The text is just: "Simpson, 266 Regent Street, London, Improved Concertina".

System Type: 22-Key Treble English system

Source Catalogue No: The Concertina Museum Collection Ref:D-277.

Maker Details

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:
'Fredk. Chas. Nickolds, Goulden Terrace'
'Thos. Nickolds, 7 Lower Brunswick Terrace, Barnsbury Road, Islington.'

F.C. Nickolds' company closed about 1888. Their sequence was:

5 Woodbridge St [1856 - 64]
143 Holloway Road [by 1866]
44 Norland Rd, Notting Hill[by 1876]
F. C. Nickolds & Son, 203 New North Road,[by 1880]
156 Kingsland Road [by 1888]
159 Kingsland Road

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.

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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.