~ Josiah Bennett Allen ~
Springfield, Mass., 1841
|'Americana' ~ by J.B. Allen - Modified 7/8 Orchestra Bass|
|Upper Bout: 21 1/8"||Belly Length: 45 3/4" (Back to Button, 47 1/2")|
|Center Bout: 16||String Length: 42"|
|Bottom Bout: 28 1/2"||Varnish: Golden Brown (Original)|
|Rib Depth: 8 1/4" tapering to 8". Upper angle break tapers from 8" to 7 1/8" at the Neck.|
|Top: 15 piece New England White Pine|
|Back: Highly Flamed New England Sugar Maple|
|Ribs: Highly Figured New England Sugar Maple|
|Neck / Scroll: Figured New England Sugar Maple with Flamed Maple Neck Graft|
Features: This Bass was written up in ISB's Bass World in 2004 by Robert McIntosh five years after completing the restoration in 1999. The Bass still has its original varnish which was cleaned and polished during its restoration. The tuners and plates are also original but with a 4th tuner for the 'D' added parallel to the 'A' tuner that shares a split shaft. The Back crossbars were replaced in the same manner as the originals.
This Bass was commissioned by the 'Congregational Church of Enfield', Connecticut and was completed in 1841, but the Church had moved to a new location by 1849. We have information from the current Church Historian that the bass was used in the new Church until about 1875 when they bought an Organ and replaced the need for the use of the Bass. There was also a little sister dated 1840, a Church Bass (Cello) that is still owned by the Church today. According the the Family that owned the Bass, it was stored in their attic for about a century. In 1999, well over a century later, this Bass showed up for sale at an Auction in New England, still strung with its original 3-gut strings. It had been in storage all that time and still owned by the family that aquired it from the Church in the 19th century. The Bass was well dried up from being stored without any care or concern to weather or humidity, and had several Top and Rib cracks that had never seen Glue before. Having the original Neck saved here, we can see that some of the Shellac finish had been worn off in one spot from playing, but the rest of the Neck looks untouched. There was evidence of some Rib repairs earlier but being such a long time ago, that may have been during the first years of its life. The Bass was then brought into the shop of Robert McIntosh to restore and convert into a playable modified 4-string Bass.
Note: The workmanship, condition and masterful restoration of this Bass by Robert McIntosh in 1999 has to be one of the finest specimens ever seen in the combined categories. The sound & beauty of this Bass matches its other attributes as well.
|This beautiful Yankee/Prescott style Scroll was originally made as a 3-string. The upper Bass Tuner was re-constructed with a split-shaft to work the A and D strings individually. The match between the new and old work is identical as far as the human eye can tell.|
|The custom molding and Rosewood/Maple Purfling work is highly original and beyond the workmanship of any American Bass I have ever seen, Prescott included!|
The Upper and Lower Rounded Corners are tastefully done and as graceful as the sweep of the beautiful F-holes.
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