This unlabeled ca. 1880 Italian large 3/4 carved back bass was used for some decades by an amateur orchestral player in the Berkeley, CA. His son used the bass in jazz settings for a few years until the father’s friends persuaded him to give the instrument a better home with an orchestral player, so it is now here searching for that new home. The top is fine grain Spruce with a characteristic low Italian arch, The back and sides are lightly figured Maple with an interesting curving crease in the upper bout. A scroll graft conversion from 3 strings to 4 strings was effected in the 1900-1910 range by our estimates. The superbly made brass machines are substantial and cleanly made. The fingerboard was recently replaced, so a new nut and bridge were also made. The endpin is an excellent example of Boyd Poulson’s work in his San Mateo shop. The tailpiece is an earlier type, likely from the early 20th century. The reddish oil varnish was lightly applied and appears to be of very high quality. The current strings are Flexocore 92.
Top length 44″ (14.8 cm), Upper bout width 21 5/8″ (54.9 cm), Middle bout width 14 5/8 (37.1 cm), Lower bout 26 7/8″ (68.3 cm), Depth at tail 8 7/8″ (22.5 cm), Depth at upper bout bend 8 7/8″ (22.5 cm), Depth at neck 6 7/8″ (17.4 cm), String length 41 7/8″ (106.4 cm).
The voice is colorful and free with a lyrical quality to it. This bass will make an orchestral professional very satisfied. With cover.