French Mirecourt School Cello, circa 1870’s
We present a beautiful vintage unlabeled old French cello. There were scores of unknown makers working in France who would often supply several shops with instruments throughout Europe and America's major cities of the time. Our instrument was purchased into our country via a shop in New York City. Mirecourt, where many of these makers lived is a little town about 95 miles outside of Paris. It was the center of French violin making for 150-200 years. It was where many makers were born and trained. They preferred to stay in Mirecourt rather than move to a huge city like Paris with all the added expense and stress that would entail. This instrument has the craftsmanship, detail, beautiful woods and a slightly larger frame indicative of the French Mirecourt School.
The condition of the instrument is very good with no splits on the top or back plate. The instrument has been restored with a button patch and some of the ribs around the corner blocks show signs of long ago shrinkage. The exquisite hand work of the scroll truly shows the skill of the maker; thankfully it was preserved when the instrument underwent a neck graft. The patina is classic, showing signs of natural varnish wear.
The cello has a little bit of growl in the lower register with a nice mix of clarity and tonal color. It achieves power without sacrificing richness and responsiveness. Mr. Judd feels the cello leans slightly to the brighter side though it is balanced well with no loss of intensity from the bass tones to the treble. This is a very nice player, responsive, powerful, and has a little bit of punch.