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Intriguing small cello


Jacob
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I've been meaning to sit down and make sense of the NMM's cello piccolo (508 mm body length)(http://collections.nmmusd.org/Cellos/Gagliano/3374/GaglianoPiccoloCello.html) in an effort to figure out the difference between a successfully scaled up (or down) in size cello. 

In other words, I can't help here, but perhaps you might feel like posting bout widths, rib heights, neck & stop lengths, and or a projection measurement? 

Can confirm it's interesting. Especially the outline, and the Archimedean spiral looking scroll turns. 

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Cute thing.

of course, because it looks crooked everyone thinks first it is Italian. 

My guess is that the apparently false Testore label was intended to up-value the work of an amateur.

Still, I think after a proper restoration this should be valued for what it is: a very individual cute cello, regardless who made it.

 

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The pegbox is really interesting, it has the right moves and design, but slopply cut.  And the robust naturalness of the belly and back arching- it looks very unselfconscious like a lot of Testore work. And it's certainly old...I'd check it out carefully before calling it.  I've seen a few Testore celli and it's not far from what I've seen. I've seen Testore work actually much 'worse'.   There's a Testore cello in the SF Symphony that looks like the back was carved with a dull adze, literally. I would not put anything past them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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Here are the measurements:

Length of top: 630mm

Lenth of back: 634mm

Rib height: varies randomly from 97-98mm

Top bout measured over the back: 290mm

Centre bout measured over the back: 205mm

Bottom bout measured over the back: 355mm

Stop length: 340mm

(Grafted) neck length, nut to top edge: 245mm

Fingerboard projection to bridge: 58mm

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14 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Cute thing.

of course, because it looks crooked everyone thinks first it is Italian. 

 

 

Actually I can't find no reason why it shouldn't be a 19th century bohemian "paesant" cello.

The Testore chest of drawer is abused so often, I won't even trust in every elderly certified reference object.

This kind is often auctioned as "possibly italian", what includes possibly from elsewhere, too.

Didn't I post this a while ago in a similar thread? (1891 non-italian)

IMG_7101.JPG

IMG_7102.JPG

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1 hour ago, Blank face said:

Actually I can't find no reason why it shouldn't be a 19th century bohemian "paesant" cello.

The Testore chest of drawer is abused so often, I won't even trust in every elderly certified reference object.

This kind is often auctioned as "possibly italian", what includes possibly from elsewhere, too.

Didn't I post this a while ago in a similar thread? (1891 non-italian)

IMG_7101.JPG

IMG_7102.JPG

To be honest, that was my first thought as well. I guess the very good work done on the neck graft,  the presence of lower blocks as seen thought the end pin hole - very roughly cut, not the neat pine covers one often sees in that kind of instrument - and the fluting of the scroll going right around to the throat , induced me to divert from the straight and narrow path. It is therefore not hard for me to revert back to my original thoughts. 

Accepting that it is a 19th-century Bohemian, I'd still like to get some clarification of the body length of around 630mm - too small for 1/2, too large for 1/4. Or were fraction-sizes not yet standardised at the time?

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4 hours ago, Jacob said:

 

Accepting that it is a 19th-century Bohemian, I'd still like to get some clarification of the body length of around 630mm - too small for 1/2, too large for 1/4. Or were fraction-sizes not yet standardised at the time?

To be sure if it's central or south Italy or not, you could send photos to Eric Blot or someone else of the respected experts.

As far as I'm absolutely unexperienced with fractional celli, this should be taken with a spoon full of salt, but as long as it's regarding fractional violins, I couldn't find any standartized sizes for german small violins before the late 19th century. A rural amateur made cello, about it's purpose (For children? A small person? Lack of big sized wood?) we know nothing, is not expected to follow any standard size at all IMO.

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Thanks Bf, your comments are much appreciated.

It is also my experience that it is very hard to find information about any standardised system of measurements for fraction-sized instruments before the late 19th century. I find it interesting that the unaltered small Amati violin in the museum in South Dakota and Mozart's "child's violin" have the same body length of 260mm. It seems to me that there may have been "child's" instruments of random size, and then full-size in quite a wide range, for violins in earlier times. Perhaps it was also the case with cellos, with many random-sized occasional instruments, as a singular step-up to full-size instead of the modern system of 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 violins and cellos as a progression towards 4/4 size, the latter which in any case cover quite a wide range of body lengths for both violins and cellos.

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4 hours ago, Stephen Faulk said:

Maybe it's 19th century Bohemian made by one of Carleen Hutchins' students? That would answer your fraction size question. Ha.  

Where is this alleged fake Testore label? 

Where labels normally are, below the bass f-hole.

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Is it very heavy? That seems to be the main problem with a lot of these somewhat primitive instruments. There are many small cellos around including Testore family (not that I think this has anything to do with Testore. I suppose at least some may have been tuned a 5th above normal cello tuning for use as a more portable bass, either in FCgd or GDaeor d. That seems far more likely to me than use by children. Here are some pictures from Tarisio of a small (636mm) CA Testore that they sold a few years ago. Hope it's ok to post these. Nothing like the op instrument!

g12323b.jpg

g14714t.jpg

g12323h.jpg

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