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Stephen  Fine

Old Cello ID (and advice)

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I submit to you, my sister's cello.  It has a couple open sound post cracks and at many places, the edges are flush with the ribs.  I don't exactly know what will happen when the top comes off, but the thing obviously needs some work.

 

It's a small cello, 7/8 size or a lady's full size.  It has been hypothesized that it's English.  My sister says someone once told her it looked like William Baker.

 

In any case, it was purchased for not too much money.  I suspect that a full restoration might cost more than the initial cost of the instrument.

 

If you guys look at it and tell me it's a hunk of junk, I won't worry too much about who I recommend my sister sends it too.  It'll probably be fine, and she just wants it to stop buzzing so she can play it again.

 

If you guys look at it and say it's really cool and actually possibly a 17th or 18th century instrument, I'll make sure that it's someone capable of beautiful work.

 

She loves the instrument, and others have complimented its sound.  It's probably worth sending the instrument to someone really good regardless...  Anyway, take a look, if you please:

 

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post-64-0-00816600-1481389132_thumb.jpg

 

post-64-0-99188800-1481389150_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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Thanks, guys.  I appreciate it.  The fake purfling is obvious now that I'm looking for it.  Funny how the eye just assumes things.  Now I'm wondering how it attained its war wounds and who paid for the heroic repair efforts.

 

Why does only have 3 pegs? Or is that some weird optical illusion?

 

When my sister went to Vanderbilt to study with Felix Wang, apparently he recommended (insisted?) that his students do this to their instruments.  He teaches a technique where that peg isn't in contact with the head.  It'll drive some people crazy. 

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Hmm.  I went and looked at them.

 

Why don't cellos just have bass-style pegs on them then?

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Hmm.  I went and looked at them.

 

Why don't cellos just have bass-style pegs on them then?

Right? It would keep them out of the way and be stable in all conditions. As satisfying as fitting a set of tension pegs is, I really do believe that machine tuners are the most sensible option for all players.

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well, the Cello wouldn't fit in any case with bass style tuners. You actually do find them on cheaper instruments from the late 19th century. but usually you only find the remnants of such tuners in the form of screw holes, sometimes plugged.

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