Dating jeffries concertinas
It seems that no manufacturing or sales records have survived from the firm of “C. We have not found even one pricelist, brochure, or advertisement issued by Jeffries, and only occasional mentions of second-hand instruments in the advertisements and pricelists of major concertina retailers.Jeffries, and lists among the concertina makers “Chas.Photographic documentation of a Jeffries Maccann Duet, serial No. Undated manuscript (possibly as late as 1959) showing fingering and chords for a Jeffries System Duet, apparently made by the Jeffries company.The document is fashioned from a notebook with pages cut so that the keyboard diagrams can remain static at the top while partial pages of chords and instructions for various keys can be turned below.The Anglo originated as a hybrid between the English and German concertinas.The button layouts are generally the same as the original 20-button German concertinas designed by Carl Friedrich Uhlig in 1834.This Charles Jeffries never knew a thing, never been taught anything—most extraordinary, as he turned out an instrument that no other maker could equal. —Tommy Williams Interview, Part 2, Concertina Newsletter, 5 (May 1972), 7. As far as we know he had no technical training and was never employed by any of the established concertina makers 2, yet somehow he managed to produce concertinas that are widely regarded as among the best ever made.Almost nothing is known about his manufacturing and sales activities, compared with what is known about the firms headed by Charles and William Wheatstone, Louis Lachenal, George Jones, or Henry Crabb.
The notebook is at present contained in an envelope along with a letter from Thomas Jeffries dated 1959 which may or may not be related.
We emphasize the preliminary nature of these articles.
New information about Charles Jeffries and all of his family that participated in the concertina making business. Raised metal ends, some construction details in common with Jeffries anglos such as linear reed chambers. This may have been a “semi-bespoke” tutor included with the instrument when it was originally sold.
“The initial response of anybody picking up a Jeffries Duet for the first time, or indeed looking at a keyboard diagram, is bewilderment that anyone could ever learn to play such a system.
For many, the first step in learning to play a concertina or button accordion is learning the layout of buttons and tones on an instrument.