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Gibson cello


Michael H
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I had a few questions about this cello. First of all, has anyone ever heard one (not heard of)? Would this classify as a fairly well-built American cello? Ebony insert/purfling on the neck, or is that just an inked line (probably)? And, is there any benefit to the lining construction? 
 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F264676299826

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There is one with fairly complete specs. listed in the Graese Gallery of the University of South Dakota. I've heard there are some folk who collect this stuff? I have a friend with some orphans like this. IMHO some of the construction aspects have more to do with the manufacturing process than any trade secrets involved with the instruments. But hey, people collect the mid-century plywood basses, well, I guess as long as you have the room to store them!

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I've got a Gibson fiddle on the bench right now.  You would think that with all of the knowledge in the factory related to carving and graduating arched-top guitars and mandolins that they would make nice violin family instruments.  Nope. Their greatest value is to people who collect Gibson ephemera.In the US, I usually send these to either Gruhn or Elderly Instruments. UP of Michigan maple, and if you are blindfolded and someone has you smell the Gibson violin family instruments, they smell just like the guitars and mandolins.

 Cellos are rare compared to violins and violas, so you should be able to find a buyer who wants it simply because it is a Gibson. They were made in the late 30's through the early 40's, and not after the war.

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11 minutes ago, duane88 said:

if you are blindfolded and someone has you smell the Gibson violin family instruments, they smell just like the guitars and mandolins.

Great info, thanks. The above, quoted, is my favorite snippet. Memorabilia for Gibson fanatics. “1 of 40”, by definition, makes this cello “rare,” but certainly not rare by comparison of celli, in general. I found this to be a bit misleading. The Kerfed guitar lining seems a bit ambitious. Think it has a negative tonal effect when compared to standard lining?

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6 hours ago, Michael H said:

Great info, thanks. The above, quoted, is my favorite snippet. Memorabilia for Gibson fanatics. “1 of 40”, by definition, makes this cello “rare,” but certainly not rare by comparison of celli, in general. I found this to be a bit misleading. The Kerfed guitar lining seems a bit ambitious. Think it has a negative tonal effect when compared to standard lining?

no

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On 3/22/2020 at 9:52 PM, Michael H said:

Great info, thanks. The above, quoted, is my favorite snippet. Memorabilia for Gibson fanatics. “1 of 40”, by definition, makes this cello “rare,” but certainly not rare by comparison of celli, in general. I found this to be a bit misleading. The Kerfed guitar lining seems a bit ambitious. Think it has a negative tonal effect when compared to standard lining?

I believe that the quote regard Bubonic Plague is attributed to George Gruhn, for when folks show up with "rare" instruments and are shocked that they have little value, or substantially less than the owner thought: "The Bubonic Plague is rare, but I don't hear of people paying much to acquire it."

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There are lots and lots of Gibson collectors and fans out there. But they dont seem to have much interest in the violin family instruments, except for maybe some fiddlers who might like to have a violin. I've tried a few violas, they were terrible.

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I remember we had one of these in my dad's shop. I can't remember if it was a repair or if he had bought it to fix up. I do remember the guitar-style kerfed linings (probably just a carry-over of guitar making techniques) and the three-piece laminated neck, which I guess could be marketed as more stable and stronger than a one piece neck, but was more probably just a way to use up wood that wasn't wide enough to make a one-piece neck (like on the later Firebird model electric guitars). I remember on the one we had that the neck had snapped off at the heel despite the three-piece construction, but I can't remember what my dad did to it, whether he replaced the neck entirely or spline/dowel repair. Probably the latter.

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  • 1 year later...

This thread has been inactive for a while so I don't know if anyone is still following. It was asked above if anyone has heard a Gibson Cello. I have owned and played my Gibson cello since ca. 1970. It is heavy and has some peculiar construction (which I first learned about back in the 1970s when my repair guy took it apart for maintenance). Nevertheless, my teacher at the time (with the Baltimore Symphony and University of Maryland) said it was a perfectly adequate instrument he would have no problem playing in the symphony. Mine did have the neck come loose which was repaired and has been stable for decades. I have seen a few others on-line in poor condition with broken necks. So that does seem to be a reoccurring issue.

 

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