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Bell Accordion Surbiton UK

Rob Naylor 30 May 11 - 09:24 AM
Rob Naylor 30 May 11 - 09:25 AM
John MacKenzie 30 May 11 - 10:15 AM
Alan Day 30 May 11 - 10:51 AM
Bonzo3legs 30 May 11 - 04:33 PM
Bernard 30 May 11 - 05:18 PM
Little Robyn 30 May 11 - 05:24 PM
Rob Naylor 30 May 11 - 08:18 PM
G-Force 31 May 11 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Graham Bradshaw 01 Jun 11 - 06:36 AM
GUEST,Guest, Mike Clarke 18 Feb 14 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 19 Feb 14 - 05:47 AM
GUEST 19 Feb 14 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,squeezeboxhp 19 Feb 14 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Neil Linden 01 Jun 15 - 11:20 AM
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Subject: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 30 May 11 - 09:24 AM

My daughter works part time at an auction house while at uni.

She recently bought one of the items that hadn't sold. It's an accordion, complete with case.

The case is the sort of "utility" material that you'd get in the 1950s. The accordion is a Bell "Professional" model with a grey marbled effect finish. Can't see the exact model or serial number, but there's a Bell booklet in the box, again in the style of 1950s publications, where the exact model is shown and called "The Professional" with a retail price of £90 00s 00d listed.

It sounds lovely and is in good nick except that the bottom strap button is very stiff to do up and undo and the keys are quite yellow.

Any ideas of what its current value might be (or a range...I know that it'll vary according to *internal* condition, not just external appearance)? I think she paid about £30 for it.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 30 May 11 - 09:25 AM

Forgot to add: the label at the back says "Made In Italy".


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 May 11 - 10:15 AM

Yes, Bell's music shop was on Tolworth Road in Surbiton, just past the fire station. I daresay it's long gone now, as so many of the old music shops are.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Alan Day
Date: 30 May 11 - 10:51 AM

It is long gone now John.
I used to pass it many times on the road to Kingston.
They had two shops from memory one across the road as well.
Al


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 30 May 11 - 04:33 PM

I remember buying some CA 3094 chips there for my old Electroharmonix pedals.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Bernard
Date: 30 May 11 - 05:18 PM

Emilio Allodi in Lewisham bought out the remaining stock and spares - Bell used to be Hohner's UK dealership.

It's difficult to advise on its value without knowing a few more details - if you're not an accordion player the questions may not make a lot of sense...!

Easy ones first - how many piano keys and how many bass buttons?

Tricky - how many reeds per note on the right hand? Usually two or three, but if it's a 'Musette' model it could have four.

The 'registers' or 'couplers' will give a clue. There will probably be some keys above the piano keyboard with strange pictures on them. A couple of lines a bit like an 'equals' sign with one or more dots indicate how many reeds and in which register.

The middle register (between the lines) will have one or two dots, indicating unison pitch, a second dot indicating tremolo. A third dot indicates 'musette' tuning.

A dot underneath the 'equals' indicates a sub-octave reed, and one above indicates a super-octave reed (typically in 'continental' models).

Sorry if this is getting confusing, but these features determine who is likely to want to buy, which affects the selling price. Sadly, many accordions won't sell for much because they are simply not what people are looking for.

The ones that sell easiest have between 48 and 96 bass buttons and two or three treble reeds per key - they are lighter than 120 bass models, so more manageable for beginners or occasional players.

My own accordion is a Swiss Hohner Musette 120 bass, which is a very heavy lump of a thing, but with a glorious sound.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Little Robyn
Date: 30 May 11 - 05:24 PM

Also, if it has been just sitting in the case, unused for years, the reeds may have gone rusty and it may be out of tune. I bought one once that seemed OK until I got it home and started playing it - it was so badly out of tune I ended up hating it. I passed it on to some other 'lucky' person!
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 30 May 11 - 08:18 PM

Thanks Robyn...just about to disappear off to Copenhagen for a few days on business, but will have a good look when I get back, and post again. Daren't go into daughter's room tonight without her permission!

There are "lots" of bass buttons....at least 96 from my "mind picture memory" and 120 wouldn't be out of the question.

There are at least 24 "white" keys. There are at least other 6 keys above the keyboard, but I seem to recall they have words on them...eg "clarinet" on one (can't be sure of thsat though...may be mis-remembering).

Anyway, I'll have a look Thursday.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: G-Force
Date: 31 May 11 - 09:12 AM

AH, yes, Bells! They had a general music shop on one side of the road, where I bought my first guitar in 1963 together with a Bert Weedon plectrum and a 'First Step' book.

Over the road was the accordion shop where I bought my second accordion in 1978. Actually it was my first, because the one I had before that was only borrowed. It is a Bells 'Weltmeister' 80-bass made in East Germany and is supposedly a load of crap, but I'm still using it regularly after a third of a century and it sounds OK to me. It cost me £120, and when I enquired about trading it in, they said they throw them away if they get them in part exchange.

Impossible to value a piano accordion without trying it out.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 01 Jun 11 - 06:36 AM

Yes, Bells. Many a happy hour spent there on a Saturday morning in the early 60s, when they would let you play the guitars. Probaby saw you there G-Force,

Occasionally, somebody famous would drop in. It was the meeting place for the Kingston and Surbiton musos, and the area was a hotbed of bands at the time, with Kingston Art School and the Tech just up the road.

The accordion shop across the road also sold all things with keyboards - pianos, organs and one or two electronic keyboards (Farfisa organs were the thinng if I remember).

Last time I was in those parts, I think the guitar shop was a wine bar or bistro or some such. Shame.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: GUEST,Guest, Mike Clarke
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 09:37 AM

I bought my first and only accordion there at the age of 14- a new Paolo Soprani 120 bass- been playing it non-stop for 40 years and it's still a fine instrument. Nearly killed me lugging it back to Paddington on the underground. I am about to treat myself, after 40 years of careful consideration, to a musette as well!

No point in coming to Surbiton, then. Shame. I see Allodi bought their stock. Bruno Allodi used to service the Soprani when I was doing my post-grad in Finsbury Park- had a little shop on the corner.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 05:47 AM

I was at college in the area 1963-66 and it was very hard to find a DG melodeon at the time- Hohner seemed to be the only manufacturer and they were all C/C#. I got Crabb's concertina shop in Liverpool Road, Islington to re-tune one of these to D/G but it was a disaster- they should gave stuck to concertinas! Anyway, I discovered Bell's of Surbiton around 1964, and supplemented the one-row G box I'd bought in a Twickenham junkshop for a fiver with a new Corona 3row ADG box (about £45 I think?).
I played it up in Fife soon after, and Pete Shepheard took a fancy to it so I got one for him too. Mine was left over winter in a damp cupboard & never recovered, I think Pete may still have his! I did try a Paolo Soprani B/C but it's b... difficult to sing with one of those, and gave it up & nowadays rely on the trusty Saltarelle I got from Rod Stradling in 1991.
Bell's were a real asset to box players at the time they existed- as was Willy Dannecker., Hohner technician based in Camberwell who was quite happy to sort out problems (broken reeds etc)at short notice- he got me out of a few difficult situations, and I know did that for other folk too- thanks to Bell's and Willy for their help at that time- a wine bar is no substitute for Bell's what a shame...


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 07:13 AM

Is there anyone out there who can date a Bell accordian BCC* purchased new by the previous owner, now deceased. I bought it from his executor who had no knowlege of when he bought it.
A Paolo Soprani, in pristine condition, which I had tuned by John Crawford of Freuchie in the summer of 2013. It's a pity I was 70 years too late in aquiring my first button box, not this one I may add.
Bells numbers are engraved on the rear of the instrument.
Any information on how to date it would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: GUEST,squeezeboxhp
Date: 19 Feb 14 - 08:34 AM

they had a branch on the Newton Aycliffe trading estate in the 70s with the extremely talented bruno allodi tuned a Corona ADG still in regular use today.


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Subject: RE: Bell Accordion Surbiton UK
From: GUEST,Neil Linden
Date: 01 Jun 15 - 11:20 AM

i have an Accordion from Bells music shop purchased in 1962 , its a red Frontalini 120 bass ,would anyone know of the value ,my email is lindenneil@yahoo.co.uk ,


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