PhilipKT

Undoing bad antiquing?

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Ok, here’s a couple pictures of some very unpleasant looking antiquing on a very nice old Morelli cello( same cello that has the edge damage)It’s a stretch, but is it possible to “fix” something like this? It looks as if the wood was deliberately scuffed at some point in the varnishing process, but i’m not sure how this particular effect was achieved. Waste of time, regardless.

 

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I seriously doubt that that damage is from a deliberate attempt to "antique" the instrument. Looks more like damage from a case. Perhaps a bow holder. As far as fixing it goes- A VERY skilled restorer could do it. I'm not that skilled, and would take a hard pass.

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46 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Ok, here’s a couple pictures of some very unpleasant looking antiquing on a very nice old Morelli cello( same cello that has the edge damage)It’s a stretch, but is it possible to “fix” something like this? It looks as if the wood was deliberately scuffed at some point in the varnishing process, but i’m not sure how this particular effect was achieved.

Some people will like that antiquing job. I wouldn't be in a hurry to replace it.

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Normally I wouldn’t worry about it, but sitting here learning a bunch of music I’ve never learned and doing a bunch of things I’ve never done, I thought it might be worthwhile to investigate it. Doug, trust me that’s antiquing, that’s not the only place it’s located on the cello.

It looks for all the world like some fool repeatedly put his cigarette out On the varnish.

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5 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

It looks for all the world like some fool repeatedly put his cigarette out On the varnish.

Things like that have actually happened, including using the interior of a violin or cello as a cigarette butt repository. Why would there be ff holes, if fiddles weren't intended for such things? ;)

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52 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Things like that have actually happened, including using the interior of a violin or cello as a cigarette butt repository. Why would there be ff holes, if fiddles weren't intended for such things? ;)

Lo, how times have changed… I remember Janos Starker Chain smoking in a master class, Heedless of whether his ash dropped on his Gofriller. I don’t remember whether it actually did or not, but I do remember that I wasn’t the only one focusing on the cigarette ash more than on the master class

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A customer of my fathers, Mr Ford, probably the richest (and stingiest) person in Nottingham always smoked a cigar when playing his Techler cello. The ash just dropped off, slid down the arching and into the f hole. When the cigar got so short, that it was in danger of burning his nose, he would crunch it up a bit, put it in his pipe, and smoke it to the end. He told me (a young boy then) that I should only convert to Christianity on my death bed, since that would be a first class ticket to heaven and save all the bother in the meantime. I somehow doubt that I would meet him there though. The ash did no harm to the cello, about once a year it needed to be put on a deck chair in the garden and have the ash blown out with an air compressor. It probably scared off any woodworm too.

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nicotine is a highly effective pest controller....that being said, that would be a can of worms that could lead to a complete re-varnish job if you mess with it imo

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Philip, it would be instructive to see the whole picture of the cello. Bad antiqueing is mostly visibe from 2 meter distance because it looks unnatural. In any case if any antiquing goes into the wood, you should rather forget about undoing it. 

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49 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Philip, it would be instructive to see the whole picture of the cello. Bad antiqueing is mostly visibe from 2 meter distance because it looks unnatural. In any case if any antiquing goes into the wood, you should rather forget about undoing it. 

Thank you, it doesn’t look quite so bad from a distance, but it really doesn’t look like it fits. It actually looks like damage rather than antiquing, which is why I asked. I don’t like antiquing generally: A cello is going to get plenty of natural wear in the normal path of time. No need to fake it at the beginning. If it’s well done though, I don’t mind it. This doesn’t look terribly good, But I’ll send you guys a full monty and see what you think.

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8 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Thank you, it doesn’t look quite so bad from a distance, but it really doesn’t look like it fits. It actually looks like damage rather than antiquing, which is why I asked. I don’t like antiquing generally: A cello is going to get plenty of natural wear in the normal path of time. No need to fake it at the beginning. If it’s well done though, I don’t mind it. This doesn’t look terribly good, But I’ll send you guys a full monty and see what you think.

Do you know the entire history of the instrument and it's varnish?, I ask because you seem so confident that it is antiquing, to me it does look like damage, or varnish that went awry in some spots that was caused by some containment mixed with water staining/tanic/uv reaction, perhaps from too much iron in the mix or just wear?

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My rules-of-thumb are that if it looks ugly, it's natural (doesn't apply to cosmetic surgery) and that there are more ways of unintentionally defacing an instrument that we can conceive of. It took me a long time to figure out what was responsible for the chips on my violin but then I realised I was hitting it with the frog whenever I made a sudden lunge to play pizzicato.

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56 minutes ago, matesic said:

My rules-of-thumb are that if it looks ugly, it's natural (doesn't apply to cosmetic surgery) and that there are more ways of unintentionally defacing an instrument that we can conceive of. It took me a long time to figure out what was responsible for the chips on my violin but then I realised I was hitting it with the frog whenever I made a sudden lunge to play pizzicato.

Fresh dents and chips may take quite a long time, dirt and polish to look „nice.“ 

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13 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

A customer of my fathers, Mr Ford, probably the richest (and stingiest) person in Nottingham always smoked a cigar when playing his Techler cello. The ash just dropped off, slid down the arching and into the f hole. When the cigar got so short, that it was in danger of burning his nose, he would crunch it up a bit, put it in his pipe, and smoke it to the end. He told me (a young boy then) that I should only convert to Christianity on my death bed, since that would be a first class ticket to heaven and save all the bother in the meantime. I somehow doubt that I would meet him there though. The ash did no harm to the cello, about once a year it needed to be put on a deck chair in the garden and have the ash blown out with an air compressor. It probably scared off any woodworm too.

French cellist Maurice Gendron was smoking all the time and the ashes was falling on his Stradivari cello trough the FF holes. He was used to say: "I have the most expensive ashtray in the world "

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A simple google suggests that this cello looks very much like the one that was sold as part of an estate auction this February by an auction house with an illustrious name of "Showplace". Are you the winning bidder?

From the photo alone, the marking is clearly not antiquing, IMHO, so not sure why you were so extremely confident it is deliberate.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/andreas-morelli-cello-with-bow-model-378-160-c-5174b26abe

 

Off-topic question to those who know - but isn't Andreas Morelli a Markneukirchen brand name? To say it's a Morelli cello is to say that an Eastman cello was made by a guy named Sam Eastman. 

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I don't think this cello looks anything other than what it is which is a decent student cello in decent condition. I certainly wouldn't put a lot of time into cosmetic improvements as whoever is going to play it probably won't notice either way.

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1 hour ago, FiddleDoug said:

"Doug, trust me that’s antiquing"

"It actually looks like damage rather than antiquing,"

Which is it?

It is bad antiquing that looks like damage… As soon as I get to the studio I’ll share a photograph

Edited by PhilipKT

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1 hour ago, dabenno said:

A simple google suggests that this cello looks very much like the one that was sold as part of an estate auction this February by an auction house with an illustrious name of "Showplace". Are you the winning bidder?

From the photo alone, the marking is clearly not antiquing, IMHO, so not sure why you were so extremely confident it is deliberate.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/andreas-morelli-cello-with-bow-model-378-160-c-5174b26abe

 

Off-topic question to those who know - but isn't Andreas Morelli a Markneukirchen brand name? To say it's a Morelli cello is to say that an Eastman cello was made by a guy named Sam Eastman. 

Yes it is a German factory cello, a model 378, which is top-of-the-line, and it sounds fantastic.

And I think everybody here is aware that saying “Morelli” is just like saying “Stohr” or “Haide” I’m not being disingenuous.

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That doesn't look deliberate to me either.

Since I've only 'played' cello once - I don't know for certain, but wouldn't that be a result of skin oils?  Maybe a previous owner dragged their hands on the surface.  Maybe they wore a lot of hand lotion?

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1 hour ago, dabenno said:

A simple google suggests that this cello looks very much like the one that was sold as part of an estate auction this February by an auction house with an illustrious name of "Showplace". Are you the winning bidder?

From the photo alone, the marking is clearly not antiquing, IMHO, so not sure why you were so extremely confident it is deliberate.

https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/andreas-morelli-cello-with-bow-model-378-160-c-5174b26abe

 

Off-topic question to those who know - but isn't Andreas Morelli a Markneukirchen brand name? To say it's a Morelli cello is to say that an Eastman cello was made by a guy named Sam Eastman. 

Oh, yes it is the same cello, and I am very happy to have it, and it looks like antiquing because I have seen that kind of marking many times.

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I'm no expert, but my cello has similar marks, fwiw. I was told by my luthier that these were likely flaws in varnish at some point.

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16 minutes ago, Marie_ said:

I'm no expert, but my cello has similar marks, fwiw. I was told by my luthier that these were likely flaws in varnish at some point.

Would you mind sharing a photo or two

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41 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Oh, yes it is the same cello, and I am very happy to have it, and it looks like antiquing because I have seen that kind of marking many times.

I thought you weren't cello shopping anymore? ^_^

And, if you've seen that marking many times, why isn't it a result of reverse knuckle-dragging? :ph34r:

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25 minutes ago, Rue said:

I thought you weren't cello shopping anymore? ^_^

And, if you've seen that marking many times, why isn't it a result of reverse knuckle-dragging? :ph34r:

Well I guess I bought it regardless of my disdain for antiquing, and because the deal was worth relenting on my never again stance. But in person it just looks unattractive.

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