Ref :   0659

A very good child cello
Small 3/4-size
Labelled 'Made for J. J. van de Geest, 1955'
 
Probably East European or Japanese, circa 1954

 
After he settled in South Africa in 1938, the eminent Dutch violin maker, J. J. van de Geest began importing large numbers of trade instruments and bows into South Africa. Having been chief studio foreman for the George Hart & Son establishment in London for 18 years, Van de Geest demonstrated great discernment in his selection of trade instruments and always labelled them as "Made FOR J. J. van de Geest" as opposed to "Made BY J. J. van de Geest" which he reserved for his personal output. He sourced such trade instruments from various producers, notably in Germany, the Netherlands and also in Japan.

It's at times difficult to discern where instruments came from, as is the case with this very good ž-size cello. It is known that Van de Geest imported cellos from Japan - from the Suzuki factory - and this cello may well have come from there, as part of their top-end output in the early 50s. However, the excellent choice of materials and particularly the manner of varnish in this instrument would suggest that it may also have been made in Eastern Europe. It is simply labelled with Van de Geest's generic label and dated 1955, along with a reference number. That would be the year he obtained it and not necessarily the year it was made.

What strikes one immediately about this cello is the beautiful and nicely flamed back and sides - excellent wood! The top is of fine tone spruce. Workmanship is good and above all the reddish-brown spirit varnish is very attractive. It is an appealing instrument.

This cello sounds really good. The important South African concert cellist, Anzél Gerber, played on it recently and thought that it is a superb instrument for a very advanced student. The tone is big, responsive, clear and well-balanced and facilitates the execution of difficult passages.

   
   
 

Dimensions :
  Back length: 68.1 cm. Testatura: 63.0 cm

Condition :
  Very good. The lower left corner on the top has been reconstructed and is solid. Two minor shrinkage cracks beside the ends of the lower saddle have both been repaired professionally and are stable. A crack below the volute of the scroll was repaired recently and is stable without affecting the integrity of the pegbox or pegholes. All repairs are well done and are stable. Other than these, the top and back of the cello are in truly excellent condition. The marks and scratches on the instrument are superficial and do not affect the cello's structural integrity. The cello still has the original bridge fitted by Van de Geest.

Provenance :
  Imported and labelled by J. J. van de Geest in 1955. Present ownership withheld.

Price : R9 900
This cello is sold with a fairly good 3/4-size bow and with its soft bag.
 

 
 
 
 

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