Charles Jeffries and His Sons: Concertina Makers (Appendix 1)

Stamping, Etching, and Handwriting in Jeffries Concertinas

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Appendix 2: Handwritten Key Diagrams and Chord Charts from Jeffries Tutors

Although the Jeffries shops did not use a general set (or sets) of serial numbers, stamped, etched, and handwritten numbers—almost all of one or two digits—abound in their instruments. We have seen what appear to be serial numbers on only a couple instruments, both by “C. Jeffries, 12 Aldershot Road”:  a “33” stamped on a 39-key Anglo concertina at the Horniman Museum and a “34” stamped on another 39-key Anglo. We also have what appears to be the original purchase date for one of Charles Jeffries jnr’s instruments:  a 46-key Anglo concertina (see Fig. A1.1) sold on Ebay in January 2002 and later advertised by an English dealer. “C. Jeffries, 12 Aldershot Rd” is shown in the right-side oval, and “A. G. Littleboy, April 25, 1925” is engraved beneath the metal handrest.

Fig. A1.1. The “Littleboy” concertina by Charles Jeffries, 12 Aldershot Road, 1925

Penciled on the right end of a 28-key Anglo concertina (in Ab/Eb with metal ends and metal buttons) is “A Fuller Chadwell, St Marys (Osett’) Near Gray Essex April 10th 1886, Maker C. Jeffries.” The numeral “50” is penciled on the reed pans, with “L50” on the bellows frame. There is also a handwritten “28” on each reed pan. The writing is thought to be in Charles Jeffries’s own hand.

There is a handwritten inscription, “F. W. Claston 7/3/93,” on the inside of a 38-key Anglo concertina by “C. Jeffries, Maker” (see Fig. A1.2). This would indicate that the instrument dated from March 1893, if the handwriting had been penciled by the original purchaser shortly after acquisition. However, the majority of handwritten names and dates in vintage concertinas were applied by later repairers/tuners or by those who purchased used concertinas.

Fig. A1.2. “F W Claston 7/3/93” in pencil inside a 38-key Anglo concertina, “C. Jeffries, Maker”

An intriguing 3-digit stamping is the “102” on each side of a 50-key Jeffries-system duet (later converted to a Bb/F Anglo) with “C. JEFFRIES, MAKER” (without 23 Praed St.) in the right-side oval (see Fig. A1.3). Is it a serial number, some other type of number, or possibly “1 o 2” (that is, 1 of 2) instruments of the same design?

Fig. A1.3. The “102” stamping on 50-key Anglo concertina by “C. Jeffries, Maker”

What follows is a small sampling of stamped, etched, and handwritten numbers inside Jeffries concertinas. Some numbers pertain to the number of keys of instruments. Others probably are part numbers, batch numbers, or possibly ID numbers of workers who built them.

“C. JEFFRIES, MAKER” (Periods 1 and 2)
  • A 28-key Anglo concertina with totally flat ends, without an external “C. Jeffries, Maker” stamp or inscription, but with an ink-stamped reed-pan label showing “C. Jeffries, English Concertina Maker, 102 Praed St., Paddington.” “R1” and “L1” appear in pencil on the right and left soundboard, respectively.
  • An early 26-key Anglo concertina with wood ends, bone buttons, and the following numbers, handwritten in pencil: “L2” on the underside of the left-side fretwork, “R2” on the action board and bellows on the right side; and “2’ on the right-side pan.
  • Three Anglo concertinas with numbers etched into the underside of the metal fretwork:  namely, a 26-key instrument with “L5” and “5” etchings on the left and right undersides; a 30-key with “13” etched on one underside; and a 30-key with “18” etched on each underside. The 26-key also has a “5” written on the right reed pan; the first 30-key has “13” handwritten on the action board, while the second has “18” written in ink on each reed pan and left action board, as well as “L18” on the left bellows frame.
  • Two Anglo concertinas in Bb/F with handwritten “16” and “37,” respectively.
  • A 30-key Anglo concertina in C/G with “21” in pencil on the reed pan and action board and “L21” on the bellows frame.
“C. JEFFRIES, MAKER, 23 Praed St., LONDON W.” in the right-side oval (Period 3)
  • A 37-key Anglo concertina with “6” etched into the underside of the metal fretwork and “1908” written in pencil on the reed pan [Peter Hyde, “Letters,” Concertina & Squeezebox, II:4 Autumn 1984), 22].
  • A 26-key Anglo concertina with “9” etched into the underside of the metal fretwork, a handwritten “L9” on the left reed pan, and a handwritten “R26” and “R9” in the right-side bellows frame.
  • A 57-key MacCann-system duet with raised metal ends, with the following handwritten in pencil: “L6” on the inside of the left action box and “R6” on the inside of the right-side action box and bellows frame.
“JEFFRIES BROS., 23 Praed St, London W.” in the right-side oval (Period 4)
  • A 50-key Jeffries-system duet with “84” stamped inside of the left side. This stamping may have been added later by Charles Jeffries Jr., given that handwritten notes showing “Charles Jeffries, 12 Aldershot Road” accompanied the concertina when purchased in the secondary market (Brian Grayson, “Letters,” Free Reed, No. 14 [August 1973], 27).
  • A 38-key Anglo concertina with “L78” stamped on the left action board and the bellows frame and with “78” stamped on the right action board.

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Appendix 2: Handwritten Key Diagrams and Chord Charts from Jeffries Tutors