t benson

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About t benson

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  1. The main problems were a rather wide rib crack and a couple of top cracks, one of which split off part of lower bout. A couple of old top repairs had opened. I also re-glued the neck, still attached to the back but loose in the block, and carved a new nut. Luckily the owner saved this from someone who viewed it as a wall-hanger.
  2. ... in response to my guess about the number on the wooden endpin. I see no correspondence between that number and any measurement. However.... I took a serious look at the bridge for the first time, having only quickly checked to see if it should be usable and left it in the case. It's also very dark, like the cello interior. But I notice that under the arch is handwritten "Perkins Inst." That meant nothing to me, but asking Mr. Internet, I find that the Perkins Institute, founded 1829, was the original name of the Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown Mass. (We're near the NH b
  3. Thank you, Jacob. After reading that thread, I realized I neglected to copy the scroll side-view photos to the page, so have put them there along with a close-up of the corner rib join.
  4. Here is another unlabeled cello trying to solve its identity crisis. My guess is Mittenwald, perhaps circa 1880s. I see no identification or evidence of a lost label, except for a number on the wooden endpin, "68303". The photos at https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-5wdfn8 show a one-piece lower rib with inset saddle, the reason for my guess. The interior of the top seems unusually dark to me, everywhere but where there was glue, so I'm curious what people think about age vs. environment for the reason. Also any guesses about the endpin #. Perhaps part of a school inventory?
  5. I believe he has enjoyed having it and learning about it, but he's not actually a cello player. I've done all I'm going to do to it, having made it playable. I think he's interested in selling it, if anyone wants to add a very old and interesting cello to their collection. Contact me and I'll put you in touch with him. I think he's looking for about $1500 for it. BTW Craig, I agree with your philosophy about "well-loved" old instruments. Those are my favorites as well.
  6. Thanks Brad and Michael for the info and link. Craig, did the neck joint in yours look like the one I posted, did you notice? FWIW, dimensions of this one are pretty much identical to yours.
  7. Thanks to everyone for the ideas. Craig, yours does indeed have a lot in common with this one. I can easily believe the "this cello is known to be 100 years old" really means "GrandDad brought this over with him in 1820, so it's got to be at least that old".
  8. A joke (I think), but I did wonder if those stray plugged holes in the scroll could mean that piece of wood was reclaimed.
  9. This curious old cello came in for minor repairs and setup. The owner is trying to verify its age and origin. If the repair labels inside are to be believed, it could be from 1781 or thereabouts. Here are the photos: https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-8LLvcw I'd love to hear any opinions or observations, especially if any details of this look familiar. Some comments on the construction. There is no purfling and no corner or neck blocks. (You can see the neck joint in one of the photos, thru the endpin hole). There is no overstand, the end of the neck is level with the top. Th
  10. FYI, the owner had an appraiser in NYC examine detailed photos of the cello. His assessment is that it is Czech circa 1850, school of Ferdinand Homolka.
  11. Another clue, just in. The owner took some pictures of a fragment of the label under a microscope, and an antique paper expert friend of mine says: "Made from linen and cotton rags, hand laid and not using a Hollander Beater, which would deposit fibers in a uniform pattern. So I think this paper predates the paper mills, I would say it's at least from 1750 to about 1850." She also guesses it could be German, having also looked at the remaining printing. It appears "the label is hand lettered in Fraktur, which is the way of lettering German." Doesn't really contradict the guess the ce
  12. > Eighty cleats, wow. And that was just the inlaid ones. There were easily over 100, and now more. If you enjoy looking at clues, this would have been right up your alley. There is also a hand written name on the exterior bottom, Franz Siegl 1903. And a wrap of sandpaper around the endpin plug, with printing showing it was made in Norway. Hmmm, what countries imported sandpaper from Norway in the mid 1800's? Well, I'd assume that was a later addition anyway, probably put there to throw me off the trail.
  13. First post from a long time (but intermittent) reader! I just completed some crack repairs on an old cello of mysterious origin. It has an "N Darche, 1846" label, I believe copied directly from the "Practical History of the Violin" book. It appears there had been a previous label beneath that. But there is also a mostly-illegible label on the neck block, which has been obliterated by the installation of a bolt. One small part of this is partly legible. I'm sure the odds are ten million to one, but I wondered if anyone might recognize the label from this fragment. It seems s