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twcellist

Abraham Prescott Cellos

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Is anybody familiar with Abraham Prescott cellos? I seem to understand he's more known for his bass instruments and that they are in highly sought after, but what about his cellos? There are two cellos on Live Auctioneers being sold and I'm toying with the idea of possibly buying one. Unfortunately though they are extremely trashed and beat up so I don't even know if it's worth it to restore these cellos.

 

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/76073197_abraham-prescott-american-full-size-cello

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/76073200_american-full-size-abraham-prescott-cello

 

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3 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Maybe you should have posted this in the auction scroll.

Prescott was one of the first American makers and his "cellos" were often made as Church Basses which are really a different instrument. Check measurements carefully to see if they are close enough to modern conventions for playability.

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5 hours ago, twcellist said:

...There are two [Abraham Prescott] cellos on Live Auctioneers being sold...

Your two links show the same instrument.  As Nathan says, Prescott's church basses are much more common than his cellos, but the instrument shown in the pictures looks like it could be a cello.  I think it needs a neck graft, and I think that this alone makes it not worth restoring.

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There are a bunch of church basses from the same auction. I've seen a few that were set up as general use cellos. Perhaps the Tewkesbury might be a better candidate, looks like it had a new neck graft. But it needs some work too. Cool thing to have if you are into the historical aspects. But if that is of no value to you than there are better choices economically.

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5 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Your two links show the same instrument.  As Nathan says, Prescott's church basses are much more common than his cellos, but the instrument shown in the pictures looks like it could be a cello.  I think it needs a neck graft, and I think that this alone makes it not worth restoring.

The length of the body these cellos (and actually all the other cellos being sold there from the same collection) is 32 inches, which appears to be Basse De Violin size? 

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1 hour ago, deans said:

There are a bunch of church basses from the same auction. I've seen a few that were set up as general use cellos. Perhaps the Tewkesbury might be a better candidate, looks like it had a new neck graft. But it needs some work too. Cool thing to have if you are into the historical aspects. But if that is of no value to you than there are better choices economically.

I am interested in the historical aspect of things, but yeah it seems like putting good money into bad money... :unsure: I wonder how much one of these cellos are if they were in undamaged condition?

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10 minutes ago, twcellist said:

I wonder how much one of these cellos are if they were in undamaged condition?

I don't think they are particularly valuable, even if you find one in good shape (they all seem like they need work). A guy to ask might be Fred Oster in Philly. At one time I remember he had several.

Getting one of these into playing shape is something you have to do out of passion, and you have to expect the costs to be an expenditure that you will not recover. Actually, this is how I view any violin-related purchase. But in this case, no doubt.

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10 hours ago, Jwillis said:

Not the same cello. Both different

Right.  On cursory inspection I thought they were the same because both necks are broken in the same spot.  Neither one is worth fixing.

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