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S322 Unlabelled, probably German, late nineteenth or early twentieth century$ 10,000.00
This handsome violoncello is a step up from the usual European trade instrument, with good-quality materials, construction and tone. The varnish is an attractive golden amber colour and the maple back is well-flamed. The tone is clear, lively, rich and resonant across all four strings.
S283 Antonio Strings ASLH # 605 cello and GEWA hard case$ 13,880.00
The “LH” of this cello’s instrument code stands for Ling Hua, or (in full) Zhenghua Ling. Zhenghua is a highly successful Shanghai maker who has won two prizes in the Violin Society of America competition for his own violins. He used his success to move away from mass production of cheap instruments and focus his now-much-smaller manufacturing workshop on making good-quality student and professional instruments.
The maple and spruce used in the #605 cello series is sourced in Europe, and the golden-orange varnish is based on a Northern Italian recipe. The maple in this cello has a light but attractive flame, and the spruce has a fairly open grain. The workmanship is very good and the cello has a strong, projecting tone suitable for advanced student performance.
S333 Edward Burr, Wellington, New Zealand 1927$ 15,000.00
Edward Burr was New Zealand’s first professional full-time luthier, setting up his workshop in Wellington in 1921 and producing over 155 instruments before his death in 1938. He had made well over 100 violins before he embarked on his first cellos in 1927, but made up for lost time by producing four of them in the space of a year. The wood is well-chosen: the back and ribs have a narrow, light flame and the neck and scroll are particularly handsome, with a strong narrow flame which is enhanced by the golden brown varnish used over the whole instrument. This would be an excellent instrument for a talented and advancing student.
B990 Noel Sweetman, #17, Cambridge, New Zealand, 1996$ 22,000.00
This is a very representative example of Noel Sweetman’s work of that period, during which he made a number of cellos on this large Stradivari model. The varnish is a warm golden brown colour and the maple of the back has a very narrow, regular, attractive flame. The workmanship is very good, and the tone is clear and projects well. This instrument would be suitable for an advanced student or a young professional player.