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1800s French or English Cello Identification


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Hi All! I am a professional orchestral cellist and have been gifted this cello. Unfortunately it is about 1500 kms away from me (now with a family member who is not a musician) and I can't travel at the moment for obvious reasons! Looking for any ideas as to what it might be (or might not be!) Here is what I know (and don't know!) about it:

-Was made prior to 1900, most likely in the 1880s or so. 

-Came to Canada from England.

-No label

-Seems to be short but wide from the look in the case. We only have the string length measurement, which is full-size (27.5 inches). 

-A casual appraisal was made 15-20 years ago with a value of 15-20K, but I have no more information. It looks a little like my own Mirecourt cello, so am wondering about that possibility. 

I noticed two distinctive dots on the back, but other than that can't see anything that looks at all unusual. Hoping someone here might have some ideas that can ease my curiosity until I get my hands on it and get a real appraisal done. Thank you so much for your help!!!





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Actually, I can make out three dots.  The two you are probably referencing on the button (part of a repair).  And one just below the button along side the center seam, which is probably matched by a 4th, at the bottom of the back.  Those last two may indicate something about origins, but you will need the experts here to weigh in.  Also, maybe I'm just seeing spots, but are there also dots in the corners of the backside?  That might suggest some time in the tropics. ???  It's a very pretty cello.

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Thanks all! Working with my brother to get some better pics. Wish we had it here to do myself! Bow has no label and nothing really distinguishing that I can see, but will include pics of those once I have too. Will post more and closer pics when I get them. Thanks for the help! And yes, big crack on the front:( It was apparently repaired (top removed) several decades ago in Cambridge. Once again, this is all second hand info though. 

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HI Folks! Thanks again so much for the replies. It is super frustrating as we cannot take these photos ourselves, but I think this is all I am going to get without my brother disowning me lol! No number on the fingerboard. Included the bow too. Doesn't look like anything special to me. 

Thanks again so much for everyone's help. Totally crazy to get a gift like this and not be able to try it out or find out more in person!
















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43 minutes ago, Ratcliffiddles said:

Not totally sure scroll belongs but body looks early 19th century English to me.  Looks like a Hill neck graft,  maybe there is a number at the end of the fingerboard?


No number my brother can see, so unless something is super faded I think no.

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