Posted By admin on 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 small, repaired soundpost crack – well of course it does – and other unimportant shrinkage cracks here and there. The photo of the underside of the table shows their extent: I don’t think you can see them from the outside.
But now . . . the back has no cracks at all. The ribs have no cracks at all. The head has no damage at all. The pegbox is unusually clean, and the pegholes have not been rebushed. The neck and pegs, by the way, are original. The table has not had any re-edging, or half-edging, anywhere. The varnish is untouched, and almost completely unworn. It has a very slight craquelure, but that just goes to show it’s correct. It has its original label: Thos. Kennedy, Maker, 364, Oxford Street, London, and also the original inked inscription, by the end-pin, is perfectly legible.
There’s nothing wrong with the size: the body is 763mm (30 1/16in. in old measurements) and the widths are 341mm, 239mm and 442mm. The string length is 692mm. It’s probably as perfect a specimen as can be found anywhere.