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Ideas on Cello ID


GeorgeH
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Attached are pictures of a cello a friend emailed to me. He owns it, and gave me permission to post it here. He said:

"The body is 30-1/16” in length, body height 4-15/16”, upper bout 14-1/4”, lower bout 17-5/8”, overall length 48-13/16”. All the designs are inlaid, not painted. The cleats inside look to be the 1953 repair job. "

My guess is Mittenwald, Germany, mid-to-late 19th century, but I am not a cello guy.

01front.JPG

02top1.JPG

03back.JPG

04scroll_bass_side2.jpg

05scroll_front.JPG

06scroll_back.jpg

07bottom_rib.jpg

08profile_bass.jpg

09top_inlay_detail.JPG

10top_inlay_detail2.JPG

11back_inlay_detail.JPG

12labels.jpg

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Thanks, Blank face. I have no idea what those symbols are, but somebody put a lot of effort into them. 

The cracking red varnish and purfling close to the edge was why I guessed Mittenwald. 

I have asked for close-up pictures of the rib joins.

Any idea of the age +/- 25 years? :-)

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3 hours ago, Blank face said:

For me a Vogtland scroll par excellence, similar to what Karoline Meinel classified as "Grundtyp 1" for the Hoyer family.

Compare:

https://www.ries-geigenbau.de/hist_v1.html#

I see too many differences

1.the strong recurve at the end of the pegbox back. 

2. Missing double chamfer on the back

3. double chamfer divided by a carved c shaped trench.

Grundtyp doesn’t mean that it is only in Klingenthal. I see the same Grundtyp in Dankwart and Groblicz pegboxes. Don’t think that it is Dankwart or Groblicz but could be Polish.

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4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I see too many differences

1.the strong recurve at the end of the pegbox back. 

2. Missing double chamfer on the back

3. double chamfer divided by a carved c shaped trench.

Grundtyp doesn’t mean that it is only in Klingenthal. I see the same Grundtyp in Dankwart and Groblicz pegboxes. Don’t think that it is Dankwart or Groblicz but could be Polish.

These differences are just variations of the same pattern. Especially the double arched rear is a feature which is known (to me) from old Saxon, Bohemian and Salzkammergut only. Salzkammergut could be a possibility, but I would expect the purfling to be inked, what it isn't.

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4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

They don't appear to be Free Mason symbols. They are more like the Seals of King Solomon or Medieval magic or alchemy seals.

 

3a4f64eda22ac5952d9e7a2ed7403668.jpg

6a00d8341c464853ef0240a4bcf5a4200b-800wi.jpg

Yes, you've got it:). Are the decorations inlaid, painted or applied otherwise? It's possible that they were there from the beginning, but comparing their refinement with the rather common workmanship of the instrument I would guess they were added later.

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With stuff like this, one first has to decide if it is genuinely old (doubt it) or a manifestation of Historicism Historicism (art) - Wikipedia from the late 19th, early 20th C. Then one has to try and blend out all the strange bits, and ask oneself what one has left. Here I can only agree with BF, that it was something for the wholemeal sandal wearers of the fin de siecle, from our saxon/bohemian friends who did anything for money

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38 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Are the decorations inlaid, painted or applied otherwise?

The owner said that they are inlaid. The varnish looks original and genuinely crackled to me, rather than crackled as the result of a later overcoat.

52 minutes ago, Blank face said:

Are the decorations inlaid, painted or applied otherwise? It's possible that they were there from the beginning, but comparing their refinement with the rather common workmanship of the instrument I would guess they were added later.

Is the scroll fancier than "rather common workmanship?" The inlay on the scroll looks similar to the purfling.

32 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Here I can only agree with BF, that it was something for the wholemeal sandal wearers of the fin de siecle, from our saxon/bohemian friends who did anything for money

Thanks, jacob.

Is that purfling (thin blacks with thick white) typical for Saxon/Bohemian?

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19 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

s the scroll fancier than "rather common workmanship?" The inlay on the scroll looks similar to the purfling.

Common workmanship was a sort of euphemism for "simple, basic, cheap and nasty", and the scroll fits into this range IMO, too. 

Such plain pegbox rears with a double arch at the upper end are almost always found at "Billigware" with inked purfling.

The two possibilities now are that the cello was made in "modern times" as it looks now as a sort of copy with fancy decorations from the start, or that all the purfling, the decorations at body and pegbox and the actual varnish was added later to an existing instrument; also like Jacob is suggesting at a point more in the 20th century than the 19th. From the photos it's difficult to tell.

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30 minutes ago, Blank face said:

From the photos it's difficult to tell.

Thanks, @jacobsaunders and @Blank face.

Despite the decorations, it doesn't look artificially antiqued to me, and I don't see evidence of revarnishing from the pictures.

The hand-written label below the repair label does not look original. It appears that an earlier label was removed.

Any comments on the placement of the ffs?

Are there any other pictures that might be helpful?

Otherwise, I guess it is one of those instruments of nebulous origin.

 

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