Ref :   0863

A good Modern Cello
Antiqued to resemble an 18th century instrument
Selected and imported from Germany by Johan Grobbelaar


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Please note: This cello has been sold and is now the main instrument of the young Free State cellist, Chris van Zyl. It is left on display here as example of modern antiqued instruments obtainable through this dealership. This particular instrument is characterized by superb tone.

This cello is a new instrument, but has been artificially antiqued to resemble an instrument from the 18th century. Such techniques are quite refined and specialized and even include inducing (and repairing) a few edge cracks. In this case a repaired deliberate crack runs up from the saddle, adding to the instrument's appearance as being genuinely old. Yet, the antiquing is only skin deep - the cello is in excellent condition as one would expect from an instrument made only last year and being virtually unplayed.

Today such antiquing is no longer regarded as trickery or deceit, but is perfectly acceptable and very much a norm in lutherie. It is interesting to note that antiquing is an anticipated or required technique in some of the world's important international violin making competitions and trade fairs. For example, in the 2011 Violin Society of America Violin Making Competition in Cleveland, the gold medal for a violin was awarded to an instrument fully antiqued to the extent that it was virtually indistinguishable from an authentic 18th violin.

This cello has superb tonal properties suitable for solo work. It is fully compliant with professional requirements - evenly balanced throughout and speaking with openness and responsiveness, easy to play on. The materials are well chosen - the sides appear to be matched with the wood of the beautiful two-piece back, showing attention to detail and to the traditions of good lutherie. Workmanship is very good throughout - tidy work in the corners and purfling neatly traced. Varnish is an amber to dark red-brown oil-based application over a yellow ground that altogether really nicely compliments the wood.

This cello convinces as a serious instrument that conforms to all the qualities one would expect from a professional cello.


Dimensions :
  Standard full-size

Condition :
  Excellent condition - a new instrument. Various techniques were used to antique this cello, but the effects are only superficial. An saddle crack was induced and repaired to add to the appearance of age. Structurally in excellent condition.

Provenance :
  The cello was sold to the Free State cellist, Chris van Zyl and is now his main instrument.

Price : Withheld
The decline of almost 40% in the value of the Rand over the past four years has led to a severe increase in the cost and importation of such instruments and of setting them up. The increase in price is regrettable but no longer avoidable.


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