Ref :   0705

A interesting fine and very good cello of
Unknown Origin
Labelled 'Giovanni Pistucci'
Probably East-European, circa 1925

This cello was recently returned to South Africa from Switzerland, where it was entrusted to the Maggini Foundation. Earlier in 2011 it was loaned to a soloist for a recital tour of Italy. It has been used extensively as solo instrument, both in concertos and recitals, as well as in several commercial CD recordings.

Though this cello is labeled as the work of Giovanni Pistucci (1909), no knowledgeable person at any point was convinced that it is Pistucci's work. That aspect was seriously considered by various individuals - notably it was examined by Charles Beare about 4 years ago. Beare thought that though the cello was interesting, the label was spurious. During 2011 the cello was in Cremona and was examined by the noted authority, Eric Blot, who stated that the instrument is not by Pistucci. He considered that it may be of East-European origin, but nevertheless gave it a very high price assessment. Strictly speaking the instrument remains of unknown origin.

It seems that the cello was made some time between 1920 and 1930. It is well-made and attractive from every point of view. The pale red-brown golden varnish beautifully compliments the materials - a top of fine tone spruce with a medium grain opening to the flanks. F-holes are nicely positioned, somewhat slanted and elegant. Ribs and two-piece back are of maple with a mildly flamed straight medium curl. The purfling is well-traced and elegant with excellent corner work - attesting to a fine and experienced hand.

An interesting divergence is that the material for the neck and scroll differs radically inasmuch as it is of exceptionally good, finely curled and nicely-flamed maple. The scroll is very attractive, conforming to a high standard of workmanship - strong yet elegant and finely balanced. The pegbox has been rebushed on all pegs, attesting to a lot of use of this instrument and a good testimony to its excellent properties. The pegs are of rosewood. My personal view is that the neck may later, by another maker, but that remains conjecture.

This cello is exceptionally light - a good basis for fine tonal properties, which it has. It is in superb condition, free from cracks or evident repairs. The neck was recently reset in order to redress the alignment (after the accompanying photos were taken) - superbly done.

This instrument has been used successfully in concerto performances and recitals and is suitably toned for such performance.


Dimensions :
  Standard full size.

Condition :
  Excellent. No cracks or evident repairs. The neck was recently reset to redress alignment (after the accompanying photos were taken).

Provenance :
  Withheld. Used extensively for concertos and solo recitals.

Price : Withheld


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