Unlike English concertinas, Anglo concertinas are diatonic - two notes to a button (push and pull) and because they
are push/pull, they give lift especially to Irish music and Morris Dancing.
Inside, the reeds and their scales are not dissimilar to those in a mouth organ
This early 39 key Jeffries anglo concertina was found in an attic in pieces. The woodwork and reeds are all original but the bellows are brand new.
This concertinas more unusual features are the inset metal ends (found on many concertinas but very rarely on a Jeffries this early) and also the very thin buttons.
Although stamped Jeffries, "it is highly likely that the metal ends were made by Crabb" to quote Geoff Crabb, but things become a little vaguer when concertinas are a joint effort by more than one firm as explained below.
Jeffries concertinas are never numbered so if there are no dates inside (see my previous anglo concertina), the layout of the fretwork and the name stamp is sometimes the best (and sometimes only) guide to dates.
From around 1868, the earliest Jeffries concertinas (20 to 26 key wooden ended) were signed in ink on the inside "C. Jeffries, his own make", although current speculation is that similarities in construction suggest that Crabb made some or all of the parts for quite a number of them.
The layout of the levers and how they cross (especially the C drone and G#/Bb lever) is sometimes a guide to deciding on Crabb / Jeffries.
By the 1890s, Charles Jeffries was making the whole instrument which were stamped "C. Jeffries Maker".
After around 1900, Jeffries started putting an address on and the layout of these addresses stamps being the best guide to dates.
The name stamp does not have the excepted serifs for a Jeffries mark and the stamp looks to be made up of individual letter stamps which are not too neatly aligned so they best we can say is towards1880.
Once this instrument is played though (or heard), it is very obvious the reeds were made by Jeffries.
The restoration work was beautifully carried out by Colin and Rosalie Dipper from Warminster and I couldn't believe my luck when this box came my way - I had to have it.
PHOTOGRAPHS ARE TO FOLLOW VERY SHORTLY
As you can see, I take my concertina to bed.
Go Back To
Page Last Updated: 7th October, 2004