A few years ago I ran into a 3/4 cello with unusually strange top wood and now recently I’ve run into another, a 4/4. This is also an old Italian cello,
A couple of weeks ago I discovered that it was easy to shoot photos through my microscope by just jamming my cell phone camera up against the eyepiece, so I started looking for interesting things to shoot. Some of the varnish ground samples on bridges, shown in an earlier post, look pretty cool under the ‘scope.
This violin is not even 100 years old, even though it looks 300. It came to me with several open cracks on the top, and as soon as I glued one, the stress of closing that gap opened up another. The toasty-brown color and the smell show that the wood was treated with nitric acid
Modern makers think they need the very best wood, with particular grain widths, specific gravity, ideal species, from the right side of the mountain cut at the right time by the right person saying the right incantations. The old Italian makers weren’t so fussy. This ¾-size cello is from around 1780, and it sounds great.