Nicola Bergonzi, Cremona, 1780


Bass: 42272

Labeled, "Nicola Bergonzi fece in Cremona l'anno 1780."

Back: Two-piece flat poplar of slab cut

Top: Strong, irregular grain with original wings in upper and lower bouts

Scroll: Walnut

Ribs: Wood similar to back

Varnish: Golden-orange

Length of back: 107.2 cm

Upper bouts: 46.8 cm

Middle bouts: 31.3 cm

Lower bouts: 58.8 cm


Notes:

"The form of instrument was modified in the 19th century. The modifications made to this bass consisted of a splice of about 42mm in the pegbox, the grafting of wood onto the upper extremities of the table and back, and the rebending and extension of the upper ribs."

"It is not known who performed these modifications, but all evidence points to J.B.Vuillaume as the perpetrator. The present form, whereby the profile of the soundbox (in violoncello form) is demarcated from the overall outline, closely resembles J.B. Vuillaume personal and original conception of double bass form."

MONTHLY GALLERY


"The instrument is sold with the original back brace, which bears the inscription: "Back plate, Nicolaus Bergonzi, removed 10/86. Original label removed for restoration and replaced in the instrument on a new back brace made from wood taken from a house beam from Cremona.""

Sotheby's Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, June 17, 1997, London, Sotheby's, Sotheby's Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, June 17, 1997, London, London

Provenance

- Benjamin Fawcett
- John Fawcett
- Harold Rossini Fawcett
1986 - 1997 Thomas Martin
in 1997 Sold by Sotheby's

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: John & Arthur Beare, London (1992) With photos attached.
  • Letter: Patrick Charton (1991) Describes the restoration of the instrument, with photos attached.
  • Letter: Duane Rosengard, Haddonfield, NJ (1989) Compares the instrument to the Nicolo Bergonzi bass of 1777 in the Museo Stradivariano in Cremona.

Cozio holds copies of many certificates and other documents, some of which are available to view on request. Please contact us if you wish to view a particular document. (Note that we do not always have permission to share documents.)

References

  • Cremonese Double Basses, Duane Rosengard, Editrice Turris, Cremona (illustrated)
  • The Strad, February, 1993, Anne Inglis, Orpheus, London (illustrated)
  • MONTHLY GALLERY
  • Sotheby's Musical Instruments Auction Catalog, June 17, 1997, London, Sotheby's, Sotheby's, London (illustrated)

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