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baroquecello

my old little cello.

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These are pictures of what was the first cello I owned. I think I know what it is, but I'd like your opinion anyway, in particular on its age. It has a number of major health poblems, whicch Im considering getting taken care of, even though the instruments market value probably doesn't justify the investment. It is more for sentimental value, added to the fact that it used to be a rather good sounding instrument, which several very good colleagues have tried to buy off me. That was until the repairs slowly started failing. Here are soe measurements:

back top to bottom: 73,5 CM
lower bout widest 42 CM
upper bout widest 32 CM
C-bout narrowest 21 CM
upper f hole kidneys narrowest: 8,5 CM
Mensur (back of the bridge till edge next to neck root): 40,5 CM
 
So technically a smallish cello with a full size string length.
 
Scroll has fluting till the bitter end. Neck and scroll look like beech to me.

krul 2.jpg

krul 3.jpg

krul1.jpg

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The main problems it has are a failing sound post crack in the back (badly repaired in the past) and a failing neck construction. That really is some work that needs to be done. Because of sentimental value, I wouldn't mind spending more than the market value at all, but ofcourse there is a limit. What do you think such an instrument, but with a well repaired sound post crack, and a redone neck set (with upper block and standard specs) would be worth, if it sounds anywhere near normal?

Edit note: I'm a bit frustrated at how little my pictures actually manage to show of the instrument. hmm. 

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Value depends upon who made it and condition. You have neither in your favor. If you love it, have it fixed and keep it and play it. If not, don't spend anything more.

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6 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I’ve seen several Beech scrolls and I’m wondering if this is beech?

The OP addresses that in his/her first post at the top of the thread

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13 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

The OP addresses that in his/her first post at the top of the thread

I missed That, but glad I recognized the wood. Beech was used on cheaper instruments but doesn’t indicate anything specific, right?

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18 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I missed That, but glad I recognized the wood. Beech was used on cheaper instruments but doesn’t indicate anything specific, right?

Beech was used in several more rural areas. I find it a difficult one to place. Built on back/long corners/beech scroll/through neck would all be Schönbach features, but not scroll fluted to the bitter end. Mittenwald/Vienna/Prague etc do not come in question. Salzkammergut is unlightly ‘cos of scroll to the bitter end, and because it’s purfeled. Leaves one to wonder about South Bohemia/ south of Salzburg, or some rural place I don’t know about. That is wha I asked “BaroqueCello” what he/she thought. If he/she left it at my place for a week, I would probably still not know what it was

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23 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Beech was used in several more rural areas. I find it a difficult one to place. Built on back/long corners/beech scroll/through neck would all be Schönbach features, but not scroll fluted to the bitter end. Mittenwald/Vienna/Prague etc do not come in question. Salzkammergut is unlightly ‘cos of scroll to the bitter end, and because it’s purfeled. Leaves one to wonder about South Bohemia/ south of Salzburg, or some rural place I don’t know about. That is wha I asked “BaroqueCello” what he/she thought. If he/she left it at my place for a week, I would probably still not know what it was

Thank you very much.

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54 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

What do you think it is?

Well, I had considered it to be something from Schoenbach with an unusual scroll. (I just saw your post calling it difficult to place) Apart from its simplicity and the "squareness" of it, the scroll is well made, symmetrical and sturdy, with a neck that, even though it was made from a notoriously elastic wood, kept its shape well. The small first few turn and the large back of the head look like something "bohemian" to me, executed with a nice flowing line. Most Schoenbach Scrolls I've seen are kind of a less good execution of a more sophisticated idea than this scroll. Actually, I feel that sort of counts for the whole cello: it is not a sophisticated design, and it doesn't try to be more than it is, and I like that. I was wondering if it maybe had been made before the huge mass production really got started, and the production became very speed oriented. The omission of fake corner blocks (which I believe were added only for cosmetic reasons, to truely mislead costumers about the way of construction) means that either the instrument wasn't considered good enough for something that time consuming (not impossible) or that it was it came from a time and place where and when such things were not (yet) a consideration. The cello has its health problems, but doesn't look extremely old to me, or otherwise has not been used for a long time. I was thinking Schoenbach-area before the middle of the 19th century. But as I wrote, I only thought I know what it is, I didn't write I was sure I know what it is. That is why I'm very interested in opinions others have on the instrument, and thank you for yours. It certainly makes the instrument more interesting!

 

When it was sold to me (to my parents actually), it was sold for the equivalent of 2500 Euros, but that was before the accident that broke the neck construction happened and it was also 23 years ago. I was hoping that after a proper repairing of the sound post area and neck area, the Cello could be worth something around 3000 Euros, in which case, I wouldn't mind paying quite some more for the repairs. But I have no clue what such repairs would cost yet. 

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21 minutes ago, baroquecello said:

Well, I had considered it to be something from Schoenbach with an unusual scroll. (I just saw your post calling it difficult to place) Apart from its simplicity and the "squareness" of it, the scroll is well made, symmetrical and sturdy, with a neck that, even though it was made from a notoriously elastic wood, kept its shape well. The small first few turn and the large back of the head look like something "bohemian" to me, executed with a nice flowing line. Most Schoenbach Scrolls I've seen are kind of a less good execution of a more sophisticated idea than this scroll. Actually, I feel that sort of counts for the whole cello: it is not a sophisticated design, and it doesn't try to be more than it is, and I like that. I was wondering if it maybe had been made before the huge mass production really got started, and the production became very speed oriented. The omission of fake corner blocks (which I believe were added only for cosmetic reasons, to truely mislead costumers about the way of construction) means that either the instrument wasn't considered good enough for something that time consuming (not impossible) or that it was it came from a time and place where and when such things were not (yet) a consideration. The cello has its health problems, but doesn't look extremely old to me, or otherwise has not been used for a long time. I was thinking Schoenbach-area before the middle of the 19th century. But as I wrote, I only thought I know what it is, I didn't write I was sure I know what it is. That is why I'm very interested in opinions others have on the instrument, and thank you for yours. It certainly makes the instrument more interesting!

 

When it was sold to me (to my parents actually), it was sold for the equivalent of 2500 Euros, but that was before the accident that broke the neck construction happened and it was also 23 years ago. I was hoping that after a proper repairing of the sound post area and neck area, the Cello could be worth something around 3000 Euros, in which case, I wouldn't mind paying quite some more for the repairs. But I have no clue what such repairs would cost yet. 

If you don't mind, I don't think I agree with you. Lets wait and see if Blank Face has any thoughts

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In my eyes it’s a typical product of the Markneukirchen/Schönbach region, most probably from the second half of the 19th century. Features indicating this are for example the wood choice (the vertical stripes at the bottom were mentioned recently in another thread), the way the very Vogtlandish purfling goes to the corners, the whole model with the long pointed corners, the ff nicks, the varnish, also the form of scroll with „Hinterkopf“ and straight thin pegbox, not to mention the beech neck. It’s a rare thing to find a fully fluted scroll there, but not impossible. Scrolls and necks were made by specialist workshops and usually not there, where the box came from (usually from Schönbach); so I would not exclude the particular origin by a single feature alone when everything else is pointing in this direction and period.

Corner blocks are corner blocks (as long as they aren’t thin logs only)wether they were part of the construction or added at some point later, I can‘t tell how to tell them „fake“ - otherwise there would be many old Flemish, French, North-West Italian or Neapolitan (everywhere they built on the back) having fake blocks.

To give a value to such an instrument in the described condition is a nearly impossible undertaking, so I‘m agreeing with the other posters who told you that it is your very personal decision only if you will invest into a restoration or will not.

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1 hour ago, baroquecello said:

@Blank face to my mind this is a fake corner block: 

Yes, I got the idea before. It's just that from outside, without opening an instrument it's usually not possible to tell if there are "proper" blocks or what I called thin logs. But there are also many Vogtlandish cheap and nasty built on the backs with full size blocks (often hard to tell if inserted within the original making or a long time later) as well as otherwise neatly made instruments without any. Therefore I won't draw any conclusions from the presence or absence of real or "fake" bocks in regard of the quality. But as long as there are blocks I can see no reason to call them a fake, no matter what considerations caused somebody to add them. You could also ask the repair person now to insert some "real" blocks.B)

The cello seems to have a glued bassbar and a relative smooth internal surface, so probably someone overworked it before. What does the label say, does it mention a repairer, dealer or a shop? I was wondering a bit if the cello was finished by someone outside of the Markneukirchen/Schönbach region, buying parts from the trade and maybe overworking the scroll to the actual neat appearance. That's quite speculative, but could explain the oddity.  That's the way many of the so called Großstadtgeigen were produced.

 

 

 

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Well, it could be that is was overworked, ofcourse. The cello was bought in the Netherlands, how it got there, I do not know. The label was glued in by my lutier when I went abroad in the early 2000s and I thought it would be easier for border crossings and paperwork needed at the time, when the cello had a recognisable label. It sais "Bohemia anno 1900" :) 

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A little update: I've decided to get the cello properly fixed up. It will cost more than the cello will be worth, but to me, with the vague memory of its sound and the sentimental value it has, It is worth the gamble. It will take a couple of months before it is ready. I told the lutier not to hurry. I'll report back when it is done to let you know if I made a good decision, or threw a lot of money out of the window. (Please keep your fingers crossed for me, that the latter may not be the case!)

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