"The instrument is typical of the makers' work on either side of the turn of the century and it is made from fine materials. The varnish is in a very pure state. In about 1969 this instrument, catalogued as English, appeared in a London auction sale, and J. & A, Beare were able to acquire it for her [Ms. Fleming] at a minimal price."
The Amatis' DNA, Fausto Cacciatori, Bruce Carlson & Carlo Chiesa, the Amatis' DNA: A Dynasty of Stringed Instrument Makers in Cremona, Cremona
A 5-string cello: "The present head has been adapted to accommodate the five pegs; the extra string is tuned to e above the normal top string of the cello. The scar of a circular hole can be seen in the back. This marks the attachment point for a strap which enabled the player to use the instrument in processions."
Museum & Collections - What’s on - Royal Academy of Music
"In fact, until Fleming boght it at auction (c. 1970), it had passed unrecognised; at that time it was catalogued as old English. Quite how it escaped detection, considering the vast quantity of pristing Cremonese varnish it bears, might seem surprising now that we can see it in its restored state, but does emphasise the oddity of the instrument's small size (the back measures a mere 70.60 cm) and strange proportion. . .
. . .When this amati was first identified at auction by charles Beare, it was strung as a small, four-stringed cello, with the extra peghole blanked off. The fifth peg was reinstated during its restoration for Fleming by J.&A. Beare."
Brothers Amati, John Dilworth, The Strad, February, 2008, London
A 5-string cello, privately owned, on long-term loan to the Royal Academy of Music.
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