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Old Chap's Bones from England, 3 pairs
Old Chap's Collection of Marvelous Bones
One-of-a-kind item. Order now. When it's gone, it's gone.
Why shop here?
Here's what you get:
3 vintage sets: rib, solid bone, hardwood
Quantity in Stock:
(Out of Stock)
Not Currently Available
Email me when Back-In-Stock
The Inside Story...
Old Chap's Bones from England: Three vintage sets of Natural Rib, Solid Bone, and Hardwood
What makes this collection of three sets of musical bones particularly intriguing is the idea that this English chap did not own
one favorite set of bones - but he routinely played natural rib, solid bone
and hardwood instruments at the pub.
I acquired the collection in September of 2006 from Martin Brownett, an antique dealer from Nottingham, England. Yes, the bones are clearly antique. No, they don't go back to the days of Robin Hood. (Well, at least I think they don't.)
At any rate, Mr. Brownett acquired the collection "at a local auction that we go to on a Tuesday," he said. "It was only after the auction," Mr. Brownette told me, that Joanne, his partner, "found out that the bones belonged to a recently deceased father of one of the porters at the auction." She explained to Mr. Brownett that "apparently, he wasn't a 'busker' but, when the fancy took him, he would, presumably after a couple of beers, get his bones out and entertain whoever was in the pub."
I asked Mr. Brownett about the porter's father. "All she knows is his dad died about 5 years ago at the age of 80(?)," Mr. Brownett reports. "He used to entertain people in his local pubs,"
From the data above, I think we can safely say the bones were owned by an Englishman raised in the 1920s and 1930s who regularly rattled them over a pint at the pub.
Details about the Old Chap's Bones...
Composition: Natural rib, solid bone, and hardwood
Combined weight: 11.05 oz
Details About the Old Chap's Marvelous Collection of Bones
Natural Rib Bones
You will like this nice hefty set of musical rib bones. They are probably ox bone. The ends appear sealed with filler. A slight greenish cast and dark ends indicate they were made from a slaughtered animal. Possibly the old chap's dinner. All the ends are asymmetrical, yet the beveled edges indicate a skilled hand crafted this set. One bone has around half a dozen tiny (1/16") nicks along the edge which may, or may not, have been put there intentionally.
One Rib Bone
Width: 1-1/4 to 1-1/2"
Thickness: 3/8" to 1/2"
Weight: 2.5 oz
Camber (arc): A smidgen rounder than 28 degrees
Other Rib Bone
Width: 3/8 to 1-1/2"
Weight: 2.4 oz
Camber (arc): Standard 28 degrees
Both Rib Bones
Composition: Natural bone, probably ox ribs
Color: Natural bone
Weight of Set: 4.95 oz
Solid Bone Bones
This set is probably whalebone. It is just like several other sets of vintage musical bones I have seen from the UK. One bone has a 2" chip, but plays fine. How old are they? The whaling industry was going strong in 1807, so I am guessing this set is from one-hundred to two-hundred years old.
Composition: Natural bone, probably whalebone
Thickness: 1/8" to 3/16"
Color: Natural bone
Weight: 2.35 oz
Camber (arc): Slightly rounder than 28 degrees
These musical bones are thick and heavy duty. They look like mahogany or rosewood. One is lighter in color than the other. Maybe one is mahogany and the other is rosewood. In any case, these bones are substantial in weight. By comparison, ebony bones are somewhat heavy, and this set weighs around 20% more than a set of Percy Danforth minstrel style ebony bones. Unlike minstrel style bones, however, which have oval ends, these are flat like Shooting Star bones but a lot thicker. How old are they? The surface indicates a patina, and both bones show distress marks from a good many years of playing. I have never seen a set like this, but my guess is the bones are between 70 and 150 years old.
Composition: Hardwood, probably mahogany or rosewood
Color: Dark brown and medium brown
Weight, each: 1.55 oz. 1.80 oz
Weight, both: 3.4 oz
Camber (arc): A smidgen flatter than 28 degrees
What You Get
You get three sets of vintage bones: One set is Natural Rib (probably ox). One set is Solid Bone (probably whale). And one set is Hardwood (probably mahogany or rosewood). Click
button above to see additional images.
Only You Can Keep the Old Chap's Bone Collection Together
These items hold greater value (and historic significance) as a complete set. But experience tells me the collection will sell more quickly if broken up and sold as separate items. But for now at least, the Old Chap's Bones from England are available only as a complete set. Being a sentimental romantic I am holding out in hopes that you will purchase these items as a complete collection - and keep their history intact. It would be a shame to break up the set, don't you agree? But I must be practical. This fledgling store needs to raise funds to continue operating. So if the collection does not sell soon...then yes, the collection will be broken up and the musical bones will be sold as separate items.
Can you solve the mystery of these bones?
If you know the provenance of these objects, then post your opinion via the
. Give the 'review' one star and please title it Guest Reply.
Return to Description...
Keep this document in a safe and fireproof place:
The history of musical bones is ancient and mysterious. And stories about people who rattled the bones are fascinating. But virtually no antique musical bones exist which document where specific bones were made or who actually owned and played them. Sadly, this valuable knowledge is routinely lost to posterity.
This sheet documents the history of the musical bones described above.
Fill in your ownership information below.
Attach photos, stories, narratives, band names, venues, stage bills, and other documents to preserve a more complete history.
Safeguard this record for future owners, players and researchers.
Special notes about you and these bones:
Next Owner Name:
Special notes about you and these bones:
Authentic Vintage Items: Perfect for living history events.
Documented English Pub Bones: You preserve the legacy of an old chap's clappers.
Antique Musical Instruments: Value increases with age.
Three Bone Varieties: You enjoy the complete collection.
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