Label (not original):


A fine 18th century Bohemian cello, the body of the Prague school, probably by a member of the Hellmer family, around 1750. The neck is English around 1800 and has subsequently been modernised by building up the heel.


Original Instrument:

Belly: of book-matched fine to medium grain pine.
Purfling: 5-piece purfling: B/W/B/W/B, both front and back.
Back: 2 book-matched pieces of medium flamed maple, almost horizontal figure.
Sides: medium flamed maple, slightly wavy grain, the lower bout originally 1 piece, now cut and joined at the tail block.


Subsequent Alterations:

Neck: Neck, head and scroll are in one piece of plain maple, apparently of English manufacture, ca. 1800. The boxwood pegs are of a similar vintage. The heel shows filled holes originally for 2 screws, as is common in England around 1800. The scroll is “Stradivarian” in its execution and form, indicating English work around 1800.

The internal structure of the instrument was, as was common in Prague in the 18th century, originally with a neck and block in 1 piece, the sides being set into the neck block with wedges. The back still retains the platform carved at the neck for the installation of the original neck structure. There are no corner blocks and the existing pine liners are 19th or 20th century work of high quality, as is the present neck block. The bassbar appears to be smaller than modern and may date from the time of alteration in England around 1800.

The original body parts are in substantially original condition, with no soundpost cracks, no invasive patching or ½-edging. The instrument is currently set up as a modern cello. Overall condition is very good.

The original body and early English neck and bassbar would make this instrument attractive to players of period music on gut strings.


Back: Length: 742mm; upper bout width: 335mm; centre bout width: 233mm; Lower bout width: 416mm. Current playing stringlength: 680mm.

Price: $AUD 40,000.00

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