Ref :   0836

An old unlabelled French
Salon Cello
France, circa 1753

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This unlabelled cello is slightly smaller than standard and could more correctly be termed a 'Lady's cello' or a 'salon cello'. The account goes that it was purchased from Charles Beare & Sons in the late 1970s whereafter it was sold the present owner a few years later. Its papers are lost, but it is believed to have been dated 1753.

This cello is genuinely old and appears to date from the mid-18th century. It is evident from even a cursory examination that it has been the subject of numerous large repairs, some of them of considerable importance and some smaller. Notably the cello no longer has its original varnish and has been revarnished - apparently long ago - to a golden honey-brown colour with a tinge of amber. This appears to have been done professionally and correctly. Other than that, a number of cracks have been repaired, notably a sound post crack in the top and various cracks in the ribs. These have all been professionally done. The most serious repair is to some woodborer damage, limited to the area under and around the tail piece. The wood was not replaced and damage was redressed with wood filler varnished over. Furthermore, it appears as if the cello's neck at some stage broke free from the mortise in the neck block, incurring damage to the back button and to the adjoining interface with the ribs. The consequent resetting of the neck and associated repairs are secure, but could have been better and tidier. The back is in excellent condition and it can be said that, notwithstanding the above matters, the cello is structurally secure and perfectly useable. In fact, it has been in professional use for several years and was recently used in public performance and for studio recordings - a worthy testimony to the quality of its tone.

It remains an instrument of considerably charm, certainly a lovely period piece. It is a light cello, speaks easily and has focus and projection in its sound. Despite its numerous repairs it can be said with confidence that it should serve music for many years to come in the hands of any musician who is less concerned with the detail of appearance than with beauty of tone.

It is sold with a custom-made hard case.


Dimensions :
  Slightly undersized, a Lady's salon cello.
Length of back: 75.3 cm
Stop length: 68.7 cm

Condition :
  This cello was revarnished long ago. Many repairs to body cracks have been securely executed, notably to a sound post crack in the top, to woodborer damage round the tailpiece area, to cracks in the ribs and to the neck mortise and neck button area. It appears that all repairs are secure and that the cello at this time is structurally sound.

Provenance :

Price : P.O.A.


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