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  1. I have an old cello, dated to about 1800, that we always thought did not have a maker's signature, but a luthier who is doing some small work on it now discovered something that looks like a signature written on the underside of the top, which I am so excited about as I have always wondered what tales my instrument could tell. The writing is directly on the wood and has smudged significantly. It looks as though it may be a signature of either a maker or repairman (someone or other R. Frank), with the word Hamburg and D.R.P.(?) written below. I wondered if anyone might be able to shed some light on who this signature may belong to? There are also some numbers/letters. One looks as though it says L513. It is a beautiful instrument, originally from Germany or Czechoslovakia we were told when purchased around 1990, with a sweet warm tone. It is unusual because it is small--about a 7/8 size--and has a very rounded belly and back, with rather large f-holes. It actually looks quite like a Saxon cello, with a light almost yellow varnish. As it is currently with the luthier, I cannot upload images of the body at the moment. If anyone can help me solve some of the mystery I would appreciate it!
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