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Help identifying a cello, ? French, 20th C


Brumcello
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I would be most grateful if any of the experts here could help with the identification of this cello. It is said to be French and is branded "P Mangenot". I'm not sure if this is really the maker. I'm told the scroll may have been grafted on at a later date. Any views and comments appreciated

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Paul Mangenot was a shop owner who sold his name later to the Labertè shop, which used it as a trade mark.

I'm afraid your instrument isn't any of them, but an artificially aged contemporary cello with an imitated stamp. I'm not sure what you're meaning with "scroll is grafted", it looks to me like a one piece neck and scroll. Of course the varnish seems to be different, more red, but this would just mean the neck was taken from another modern instrument. But it won't make much of a difference.

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I'm afraid your instrument isn't any of them, but an artificially aged contemporary cello with an imitated stamp.

Thanks, that explains a lot, the inside seemed far too clean to be old.  It does sound beautiful so I'm happy with it but its nice to know a bit more about it

Edited by Brumcello
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A quick update one this cello. I took it to a local luthier (who trained in Switzerland so is very experienced in European instruments). He was fairly sure the cello is French and made about 1920. He was puzzled by the varnish which is only about 10 years old. He could see no obvious reason for it to have been re-varnished. He also thought the scroll was original. Anyway, he is going to fit a new bridge and sound-post and we will see what we end up with.

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1 hour ago, Brumcello said:

He was puzzled by the varnish which is only about 10 years old. He could see no obvious reason for it to have been re-varnished.

Because it isn't. The wood is hardly much older than the varnish.

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Like you said, it's extremely unlikely revarnished, there are none of the typical signs for this action. The varnish features the usual stereotype "scratches" for artificially antiquing, interestingly almost only at the belly. The stylistic of edges, purfling, ff etc. isn't french at all, the scroll looks like an attempt to copy it, but shows no signs of a 100 years of use, especially not at the rather small pegholes. Inside wood, at least what's visible through the f, has the bright-greyish look of stained fresh wood. The brand has the over-burned edges of an electric heated modern branding iron. The maple features the flame and grain figure of wood which is commen for modern Chinese or Rhegin (not 100% sure in this case) produced instruments.

I could go on, but at least I'm very familiar to look at this sort of stuff, as well as at real old instruments, so it's not difficult to distinguish between them when seeing one.

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yes basically ,most mirecourt instruments from that era will have purfling where the bee stings pint into the corners on the c bout sides. All the work on yours doesnt look crisp enough for French work.  There also appears to be pins in the top and bottom which i dont think a Mangenot  instrument would have. But basically i agree with what Blankface says.

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I can find no offense. Factually many of such instruments are sold in Ebay, therefore the question is nearby.

The (wholesale) price for similar new cellos is usually far below one thousand Euros, for a nice old Mirecourt cello in a fair condition usually several thousands. So it's not exactly "slightly lower" but a huge difference in value which is motivating such crookery.

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Offense is in the eye of the beholder. I did not buy this on Ebay and would never buy a cello without seeing and playing it. I am a cellist,  I have played cellos by some of the best makers in the UK as well as fine American and German cellos (never played a fine Italian or French one). From a players perspective this cello is better than many cellos retailing at £16,000. It was bought from a major UK auction house and cost about the same as a half decent Chinese cello. I didnt expect an antique for the money. I am 100% happy with my purchase but wanted to know the opinions of experts. I did not expect to be ridiculed.

 

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Welcome @Brumcello

You're new here. Perhaps you're not aware that there is a level of chicanery exposed regularly here with people posting "authentic" instruments that they purchased on eBay only to discover that they have been "had." When this is pointed out to them, they sometimes get highly affronted and feel offended when told the truth. They thought that they had a bargain when they were actually ripped-off.

And, truth is that many of us here have had some expensive lessons buying instruments!

So don't take it personally that you were asked if you bought it on eBay. Enjoy your cello. And hang around here. If you're interested, then you will learn a lot. 

BTW, most of the instruments I own, play, and cherish I did not hear nor play before buying them. Nothing wrong with that, either.

 

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Wow. There are going to be lot of offended eBay shoppers after this comment.

And, how would anyone know you were a professional string player, and to not offend you, since you opted to be easily offended when absolutely nothing offensive was said?

And...you get what you pay for. In this case honest opinions come cheap.

 

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"And, how would anyone know you were a professional string player, and to not offend you, since you opted to be easily offended when absolutely nothing offensive was said?"

 

What I am should be of no consequence.  There is a world of difference between saying "this is a modern instrument and therefore not valuable" and saying "did you buy from  *a collector* on Ebay".  The first is information the second is condescension 

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14 hours ago, Brumcello said:

From a players perspective this cello is better than many cellos retailing at £16,000. It was bought from a major UK auction house and cost about the same as a half decent Chinese cello. I didnt expect an antique for the money. I am 100% happy with my purchase but wanted to know the opinions of experts. I did not expect to be ridiculed.

 

Well it's probably is "a half decent Chinese cello" so you got a bargain.

 

 

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On 4/16/2021 at 3:25 AM, Blank face said:

Like you said, it's extremely unlikely revarnished, there are none of the typical signs for this action. The varnish features the usual stereotype "scratches" for artificially antiquing, interestingly almost only at the belly. The stylistic of edges, purfling, ff etc. isn't french at all, the scroll looks like an attempt to copy it, but shows no signs of a 100 years of use, especially not at the rather small pegholes. Inside wood, at least what's visible through the f, has the bright-greyish look of stained fresh wood. The brand has the over-burned edges of an electric heated modern branding iron. The maple features the flame and grain figure of wood which is commen for modern Chinese or Rhegin (not 100% sure in this case) produced instruments.

I could go on, but at least I'm very familiar to look at this sort of stuff, as well as at real old instruments, so it's not difficult to distinguish between them when seeing one.

Since the Chinese have stocked-up on European wood, you can't make the blanket claim that an instrument looks Chinese based on the grain figure of the wood like you could in the old days.

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I think it is an attractive cello. I would not be offended if someone asked whether I got it in EBay. I bought a truck on EBay and I loved it till my wife made me sell it. Nothing wrong with buying on eBay if one is careful and observant.

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On 4/17/2021 at 5:05 PM, Brumcello said:

Offense is in the eye of the beholder. I did not buy this on Ebay and would never buy a cello without seeing and playing it. I am a cellist,  I have played cellos by some of the best makers in the UK as well as fine American and German cellos (never played a fine Italian or French one). From a players perspective this cello is better than many cellos retailing at £16,000. It was bought from a major UK auction house and cost about the same as a half decent Chinese cello. I didnt expect an antique for the money. I am 100% happy with my purchase but wanted to know the opinions of experts. I did not expect to be ridiculed.

 

There are a few here who like to ridicule others.  Personally, I don't understand why the admin allows it but it's not my forum.  I like the cello you showed and as long as it sounds good, you did a good job in picking it.

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