Cello by Thomas Kennedy

| July 1, 2014

Here’s a lovely cello by Thomas Kennedy. It dates from 1820, and, as well as having its proper label, it has Kennedy’s handwritten and dated inscription both underneath the front and inside the back Now, there are lots of cellos by this maker, so what’s special about this one? Its condition. The table has a […]

A Surprising Cello

| October 27, 2013

In the spring, I and a friend purchased, at auction, a cello catalogued as by Thomas Dodd. It looked awful, being filthy and having a thick coating of varnish that had become very crazed with age. Before the auction it was downgraded to school of Dodd. But I just loved it. Under the grime was […]

Irish Heritage

| July 2, 2013

Sometimes life throws up weird coincidences. Having only ever seen one instrument by James Perry of Kilkenny before (a viola, back in 1986), two turn up at the same time. James Perry was probably the younger brother of the better-known Thomas Perry in Dublin. Thomas died in 1818. I don’t think it’s known when James […]

Transitional English Cellos

| January 3, 2013

Here’s a rather bad photograph of two astonishing cellos. I think I might make an advertisement based on these instruments, and I’m experimenting with camera angles and so on: I’d like the final image to be good and striking. But until then this’ll have to do. One of these has had only one owner: Henry […]

Small-sized-but-full-sized cellos

| August 4, 2012

It seems to me that there are a great many people who are passionate about playing the cello, but who struggle with the physical size of the instrument . . . more commonly, with the left-hand stretches needed. Some, in their fifties, having played a normal-sized instrument all their lives, suddenly throw in the towel […]

How the violin trade works.

| September 12, 2011

Little is known about the Tyrolese maker, Mathias Alban of Bozen. That’s Tyrolese, not Italian. It is not known who taught him – there have been several guesses – but sometimes his varnish suggests that he might have been trained in Italy. Before World War I, the Italian town of Bolzano was part of the […]

Budapest

| February 8, 2011

I’ve just come back from Budapest. There’s an exhibition called Opera and Nation there at the Museum of Music History, which is part of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. It has lots of stringed instruments in it, and it runs until the end of August 2011. Very often presentations of […]

Concerts

| April 15, 2010

Shortly after we moved into the old church we were approached with a request to host a Bach harpsichord recital here. The acoustics are excellent and we have plenty of space. The event was attended by sixty-one people, and on the whole was a success. Immediately afterwards a local choir asked to do a concert […]

Saxon Cello

| February 17, 2010

  This cello dates from the late 18th Century. It is truly eccentric. How unusual it is to see an old instrument that most emphatically is not modelled after Stradivari, Amati, Stainer or Guarneri. In my view, it’s rather refreshing, too. It is what’s called a lady’s size (I dislike the expression), being larger than […]

More on decorated instruments

| December 31, 2009

Photo courtesy Sotheby’s, (thanks Tim) A friend read my last entry and mentioned another painted instrument, the famous “Royal George” cello by William Forster. The cello is certainly magnificent, and it maddens me that it is not in the V & A museum. I first saw this wonderful instrument in the summer of 1986, when […]