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Cello identification..


myrthe
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Hello, dear experts.

Thank you for your considerate advice!

I own a German modern cello which I bought at USD 4500$ at a shop 20 years ago.

I am looking for a cello with a budget of 10000$-20000$. (I know with this budget, I would not be able to obtain a cello which is far better than mine. I just hope to find a good one)

I was recommended two cellos from a reliable seller (NOT A COLLECTOR).

I was told that both were made in Germany around 100 years ago.

The first one is 12,000$  (first seven pictures) and the second one is 15,000$ (last five pictures).

Both of them have a number of cracks. 

Which of two would you recommend considering the condition of the instruments?

Thank you!

Have a nice weekend!

 

 

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13 hours ago, myrthe said:

I was recommended two cellos from a reliable seller (NOT A COLLECTOR).

I was told that both were made in Germany around 100 years ago.

The first one is 12,000$  (first seven pictures) and the second one is 15,000$ (last five pictures).

Both of them have a number of cracks. 

Which of two would you recommend considering the condition of the instruments?

 

 

Given that the prices seem to be way beyond where they should be, even for mint examples, I wonder who would recommend the seller to you?

Asking which one of the two you should buy, is not the right question, for you should buy neither. 
Instead, go to a reputable shop, and look for something there.

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Dear Wood Butchers,

Thank you for the answer.

But these two cellos are from a reputable shop though not the biggest.

I am playing them at my home for 4 days (and the pictures are taken at my home.)

Do you mean that the price of these cellos are far beyond their value?

Thank you for sharing your expertise.

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You really need to take better pictures.

I agree with what was said: They both look like a better type of student quality instruments from germany, which I'd expect to have to pay 4000~8000 Euros for, if they were in good condition. The second cello however has an enormous bass bar crack, which is not that big a deal if it is well repaired, but this was done by someone who clearly didn't know how to do that well, or at least had no clue how to do a varnish touchup. The first cello looks in better condition, unless it is a repaired sound post crack I see on the back. Such a crack would dramatically reduce the value of the instrument, irrespective of the quality of work.

I really don't understand where you manage to find so many cellos sold at way too high a price. It is truely quite an accomplishment.

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1 hour ago, baroquecello said:

 I really don't understand where you manage to find so many cellos sold at way too high a price. It is truely quite an accomplishment.

I believe (based off of photos posted in another thread) that the OP is in Korea. Unfortunately things are like this in Asia. Unscrupulous sellers are more than happy to jack up the price of a low-quality old instrument because everyone wants to buy an "antique" and they don't know any better. The OP is already doing better than normal by asking for second opinions ;)

To the original poster:

The photos are not great, but both instruments appear to be older student-quality instruments, the first one (even to my untrained eyes) looks to be a Markneukirchen instrument because of the rib joints lined up with the ends of the corners. Second one could be too, although the photos are not clear.

These types of instruments would have filled a place in the market similar to cheap Chinese instruments today: made in huge quantities at different qualities. While some can be pretty well made none have "antique value" as they are mass produced instruments.

Why do you want a new cello? Are you an amateur playing for your own enjoyment? (I am making a guess, feel free to correct me). Unfortunately, sound and playing qualities do not factor in to the value of instruments at all. The factors that do matter (where and when they are from and a maker, which I'm sure can not be attributed to these instruments) unfortunately mean that these types of instruments should not have much (if any) value above a new Chinese instrument of reasonable quality.

If you just want something that sounds nice, I would suggest you look at Chinese cellos. They can sound good at the higher range and the price should be more inline with their value. I also live in East Asia, and while antiques in your price range are a disaster, one can get very nice Chinese instruments here, often much cheaper than in the West.

Or, if having something old is important, increase your budget and go to the most reputable shop in Seoul and get a certified instrument by a known maker. You will more easily be able to check prices online with known makers and you won't get ripped off as much as when you buy cheap antique Markneukirchen instruments.

 

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Dear experts,

Thank you for your time and comments.

I am an amateur cellist. 

But for years, I have been looking for a cello with a better sound quality. I do not have a preference for an old one. And I know.. that I cannot find a good old cello with my budget.

And anyway, with my budget, I may not find a cello which is far superior to mine.

Yes, Chinese cellos are quite good. Recently I played a Chinese cello, and I found it pretty good! I liked that the pegs moved smoothly and the gap between string and the fingerboard was not wide as my current cello. It was very comfortable to play.

Maybe I'd better be satisfied with my current cello. 

I did not reveal my location because that would disgrace the place where I am and the people who may be involved with this kind of things.

But yes you guessed.. and according to your suggestion, I'd better do my best to find some credible one from a credible shop.

Have a wonderful week!

Greetings from wonderland

 

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It will most definitely make a huge difference if you get your cello adjusted properly, if you have not done such a thing for years. Find a lutier that also services professional players instruments; then you'll know the lutier will have a certain standard. Explain what you preferred in the playability of cellos you tried out (string clearance!)

It depends on the playing level, but sometimes, for amateurs, best level instruments are not the best choice. Very good instruments often also require a good command of the instrument to make them sound good. Some amateurs are served well with something a pro would not like. However, if you would like to get an instrument that helps you improve, and have the time to practise, you should ask help of a pro (someone who understands what it takes to get where you want to go) in the selection of the instrument, and not do it all alone by yourself. If you are indeed in east asia, then I think it is true that old European instruments are likely expensive and not the best choice for you. But for 12.000~15.000 you should be able to get a fabulously playing new east asian cello. Compared to similar new cellos from the west, such instruments sometimes have unbeatable price/quality ratio, if you know where to look.

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Quick observations on the two cellos you're looking at.  On the first one, looking at the side cracks extending from the bass-side corners, the corners seems to be unblocked.  That's quite a lot of money for a German cello made like that, although it looks in good shape otherwise.  The second cello....hard to find something nice to say about it, even though may sound great.  There are poorly-repaired top cracks extending along the line of the bass bar, and one poorly-repaired crack move seriously close to the sound post.  IMHO you could take a zero off that price and still never get your money back on that one.  Sorry to be so negative.

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Thank you for your comments,

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I've played the cello for more than 25 years. Even though I may not say I can manage the fine cello with a good expertise, I can say I have a hope for it. But currently I do not have much time to practice, and it may not be a good idea to try to get an instrument which I would not be able to give much care to. My current instrument is not bad. But compared with these old ones, mine sounds a bit superficial.

It would be wise to ask for a help from a professional cellist. Yes, definitely. I'd better find a way if I would like to get a good one. But I think the experts here are giving advice which I can get nowhere.

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Thank you for deciphering poor quality pictures. I might have to find another one. Besides the money I have to pay for the instruments, I am afraid those cracks would cost me a lot throughout my life.

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The sides and back of the first cello seem made of wood which seems rare to me. Is that more valuable than ordinary wood used for making a cello?

 

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52 minutes ago, myrthe said:

The sides and back of the first cello seem made of wood which seems rare to me. Is that more valuable than ordinary wood used for making a cello?

That appears to be birdseye maple.  The stuff is hell on wheels to carve.  It is rare, but exists in far greater abundance than anyone wants to use for violins.  

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