Craig Cowing

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Everything posted by Craig Cowing

  1. In reading old writing I've sometimes taken the image and adjusted exposure, saturation, anything that will highlight the handwriting.
  2. Agreed. In the BC (before COVID) world the only justification that you needed for doing something, whether it was travel or whatever, was if you could afford it. If you could afford it you could do it regardless of the impact environmentally or in any other way. We're having to re-evaluate that as a society and I think that's a good thing.
  3. I’ve turned it. It’s pretty dense and I had to sharpen my tools frequently.
  4. Shagbark hickory is common here in CT. The mature bark peels up in strips from the bottom, giving it the name. It's a beautiful wood, sort of golden in color. And hard and dense.
  5. This tree came down in one of our many storms this year. A neighbor had it cut up into boards. I'm not set on it. I'm just curious.
  6. Not a church bass. A CSO wall hanger, I suspect.
  7. I know I'm taking a chance and I'll duck when the experts throw projectiles at me. Any thoughts on shagbark hickory as a tone wood for a viol? (Ducking now.)
  8. The Klemm brothers were importing instruments from the Empire as early as 1818. They had cellos that had "patent brass screws" (ie geared tuners) as early as 1818 so this would fit with your estimate of age.
  9. Not quite. I couldn't get a picture because of the angle. The block comes in and tapers but is wider at the bottom than here. It doesn't have the supporting blocks to either side either. I would hazard a guess that its origin is similar to mine, perhaps a bit older. I'm interested in the back of the scroll with the punch mark design. I wonder if that could help in determining the origin of the instrument? Or, was it probably a less expensive instrument and didn't have the carving go all the way to the back, and someone over here added that for effect? Interesting. My cello has a wonderfully rich, sweet sound, and despite its detractors who have not heard it played, is a gem that bears the marks of successive owners, as this one does also. My cello is not a museum piece. It is worn but completely playable and is a treasure. I'm sure this one is also. To my mind the history of an instrument and the wear that it shows are testaments to the love bestowed upon it. Instruments that are 200+ years old are not going to be pristine. For them to be pristine would also mean that they were not loved. I will take a well loved and well used instrument over a pristine one every day and twice on Sunday. I hope the customer enjoys this gem! I hope that you will rebush the peg holes so you can keep the pegs.
  10. When I restored antique reed organs in a previous life I used to find stuff like this all the time. I even had a display board entitled “A Reed Organ’s Chamber of Horrors” with samples from derelict organs including severe mouse damage, mud wasp nests, moth damage to felt, etc. I brought it whenever I had a display at a craft fair.
  11. I hang them along pipes in the basement but not in traffic areas. Near the wall.
  12. Sure. If the note written in 1911 says that it is known to be 130 years old that would date it to 1781. Ish. From what I have gathered, the use of beech instead of maple for the back and ribs (in my case, the entire thing is made of beech except for the top) and the lack of purfling is an indicator that it was a less expensive instrument. Perhaps yours was shipped over her for resale in the American market like mine.
  13. I have one with a back just like this one. I have concluded that it was imported from Austria or southern Germany ca. 1820 and sold through a Philadelphia music store. Photos in this thread: Ignore various snarky comments.
  14. I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. The repair labels are what they are. If you don’t understand them then there is nothing I can do to help you. This cello is a keeper for me. Not for sale. NFS. I’m not trying to invent a past so I can sell it. Get it? Why is a simple request for info turning into a pissing match?
  15. There is nothing wrong with me. I have a perfectly good sense of humor. I have impatience dealing with adults who have to resort to personal insults to make their point. If you can't post something that is useful then just don't.
  16. I'm sorry but that is uncalled for. Jacob's posts are fine. He offered his opinion that it is a low end cello made in Austria in the early 19th century. If that's indeed the case, I'm good with that. Making snotty comments about my trying to sell it for something it is not on eBay is uncalled for.
  17. Well, I like it, I like the tone and the ease with which it can be played. If it turns out to be an inexpensive cello made of beech from central Europe, that's ok too. At least it's a 200 year old inexpensive cello. I'm sorry to have offended your sensibilities with this post.
  18. Thanks. The scroll is somewhat similar. I just discovered that the University of Delaware has the records for the Philadelphia Custom House for the entire 19th century, including ship manifests, etc. Lots of detailed documents. That may answer the question of whether anyone was importing instruments from Europe into Philadelphia. I'm going to see if I can find a way to get down there soon and not miss too much work when I come back. Right now Delaware is on our bad list.
  19. I'm not trying to sell it, actually. I just think it looks like sycamore. If it is beech, that's ok too. I'm interested in knowing its history. That's it. How is it a nightmare? I realize that it isn't new. It's had repairs, and it bears scars. Just because it isn't pristine although about 200 years old it doesn't have value in your eyes?
  20. Here are some more pics that I couldn't download earlier. The Klemm music store was using the description on this label in their Philadelphia city directory listings for 1829-1837 so I believe it is safe to say that it was in their store somewhere during that 8-9 year period. My guess is that the geared tuners were added at that time? Underneath there is some varnish which makes me think that originally this instrument had regular pegs. as anyone importing inexpensive cellos to Philadelphia in the early 19th century? It may be that it has the style of an Austrian cello, and may possibly be made out of beech and otherwise bear markers of that area, but its presence in Philadelphia at that time must be reckoned with. If it were an inexpensive instrument surely nobody would take the trouble and expense to ship it here at that time. Dimensions are: body length 28.5 " upper bout: 12.5" middle bout: 8.5" lower bout: 15.25" BTW the fingerboard is modern. I put it on at that length to reflect the period it comes from.
  21. Bohemian? I honestly don’t know. I don’t have to have it an American instrument. If it was made in Bohemia and brought over in the 1830’s which I can document, that’s good too. To be honest I’m more interested in its age. How old do you think it is? More pics soon. I’m wondering about the lack of purfling in particular. Is that a marker at all?
  22. Here are pics. Some didn’t upload for some reason so I’ll have to resize them on the computer.