Sign in to follow this  
Marcellist

J. T. Lutz Schoenbach Saxony Markneukirchen Cello price estimate

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

I'm a university student looking to buy a new cello. I came across this cello and was wondering if someone could have a look the pictures and information and tell me its rough price range?

Details:

Saxony made Markneukirchen cello with signature 

The cello dates back to 1880-1910

Label: J. T Lutz
ifrenien ergeuger
Schonbach (Bohemia)

Back: Slab cut maple
Ribs: similar maple
scroll: figured maple
top: two piece medium grained spruce

varnish yellow based red brown

Body Length 76.5cm
rib height 11.4cm
Ratio 28.7cm - 41 cm

The instrument is of the following origin: Johann (II) Lutz born 1854 son and puli of Vincent Lutz.

 

Thanks

s-l1600 (11).jpg

s-l1600 (10).jpg

s-l1600 (9).jpg

s-l1600 (8).jpg

s-l1600 (7).jpg

s-l1600 (6).jpg

s-l1600 (5).jpg

s-l1600 (4).jpg

s-l1600 (3).jpg

s-l1600 (2).jpg

s-l1600 (1).jpg

s-l1600.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Lutz family were a dealership (Verleger) in Schönbach, with branches elsewhere, significantly in Vienna, which I wrote about here

Lutz supplied instruments in a large range of price increments, yours seems quite a nice one. You should have a violin maker check if it has any technical issues. It was the better school cello in the second half of the 19th C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, hendrik said:

Maybe a sound post crack as well. 

Yes. It looked like a reflection of the string to me in the first place, but is another crack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With 2 cracks in such bad places you have to wonder about the structural integrity of the top of the instrument . Are there open seams anywhere? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am aware of the asking price for this cello ,having found it online,

the cracks under the feet of the bridge seriously affect the value

in Australia the cello would be worth the asking price if the top was not cracked,

as it is, and without further investigation i would suggest it is worth half the asking price

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the table is at the end of it's life the cello isn't worth much. It depends what caused the cracks.

A half baked repair likely won't last.

In a worst case scenario a proper repair may involve making a plaster cast after the base bar has come off, pressing  the table back in shape, making a new base bar and " doubling " the table. It may not be as bad as that but that's why a knowledgeable luthier should have a good look.   

At least that was my experience having gone through this once. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, hendrik said:

 

In a worst case scenario a proper repair may involve making a plaster cast after the base bar has come off, pressing  the table back in shape, making a new base bar and " doubling " the table. It may not be as bad as that but that's why a knowledgeable luthier should have a good look.   

 

 

You would have to be nuts to make a plaster cast for that. It is a routine repair job, if a lot of work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:D

Well, I guess this cello is in better shape than the one I bought years ago. That one was french and had a sprung bass bar. The treble side of the table was starting to cave in.

Routine repair meaning: big patches?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Marcellist said:

Hi guys,

I'm a university student looking to buy a new cello. I came across this cello and was wondering if someone could have a look the pictures and information and tell me its rough price range?

Details:

Saxony made Markneukirchen cello with signature 

The cello dates back to 1880-1910

Label: J. T Lutz
ifrenien ergeuger
Schonbach (Bohemia)

Back: Slab cut maple
Ribs: similar maple
scroll: figured maple
top: two piece medium grained spruce

varnish yellow based red brown

Body Length 76.5cm
rib height 11.4cm
Ratio 28.7cm - 41 cm

The instrument is of the following origin: Johann (II) Lutz born 1854 son and puli of Vincent Lutz.

 

In case you are not familiar with the terminology used by the experts above: the cello has cracks under/at both bridge feet. One is a bass bar crack, the other a sound post crack. These two types of cracks are trouble and are exceedingly expensive to repair properly (much more expensive than cracks elsewhere).

When you are looking for an instrument at your price point, it is not so much about provenance but about condition. I note the listing description of the instrument doesn't say anything about condition.

What happens all the time is that a seller has actually got a repair quote (or an assessment) from a luthier determining that the cost of the repairs would exceed the value of the instrument. So they ignore that, pretend not to know anything about it, and sell it on ebay. Some are friendly enough to ask you to examine the photos carefully, so when you do find out later that you bought trash they can rightly say you got what you saw.

Bargain hunting for instruments is a recipe for disaster if you just have a casual knowledge of the matter.

Go to a reputable dealer and take your time. If you buy something privately, say within the circle of the university, make sure a luthier inspects it before the purchase. Do not buy instruments on ebay.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't buy my particular cello from e-bay , but from a teacher ( not cello) in another city.  He is well known. I still give him the benefit of the doubt in that he may not have been aware of the poor shape the cello was in. It was repaired by a luthier I never heard of before or after.    The cello sounded great and my daughter's cello teacher swooned over it. It was a costly affair.    Not the only time I found that teachers go for the sound of an instrument but don't really pay enough attention to the condition, or don't know enough about provenance.

Shows you you can buy trouble anywhere.

As you can tell  I'm NOT an expert. Just got myself a little better educated after having over-paid on many occasions. That has saved me some money. Some dealers have been very helpful. One of them - Serge Stam in Utrecht - helped me an awful lot pointing out that a Ricardo Genovese which I had bought at another dealer wasn't even Italian , and quite new. That particular  shop did take it back for trade ins and those  were fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The photos don't reveal if the cracks are properly repaired with a soundpost patch etc.  (just not touched up) or still in need of repair. There are no signs of major deformations visible.

In case that no bigger repair is necessary than a bit touch up work, there should be a significant discount for devaluations due to the cracks, but it could be a usable instrument. For this reason it would be important to show it to a competent person before buying it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Blank face said:

The photos don't reveal if the cracks are properly repaired with a soundpost patch etc.  (just not touched up) or still in need of repair. There are no signs of major deformations visible.

In case that no bigger repair is necessary than a bit touch up work, there should be a significant discount for devaluations due to the cracks, but it could be a usable instrument. For this reason it would be important to show it to a competent person before buying it.

Of course you are right. But should the soundpost crack be closed and repaired with a patch it seems unlikely that whoever did this repair then stopped short of a touch-up.

And further to the OP: If in doubt, move on. Plenty of instruments around.

Be aware of basic psychology here. As old instruments appear to be unique and present a singular opportunity, the fear of missing out can get the better of buyers so inclined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the help and advice! I think I will stick to the luthiers in my city for buying an instrument.

Thanks

Edited by Marcellist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.