7/8 Master English Double Bass 
Attributed to the shop of Thomas Dodd, Circa 1800 (with Papers) 
This Bass was originally 'attributed' to the shop of John Betts as it has a faint Stamp under the Button the looks like it might say Betts but after careful examination of this and the fact that another well known London dealer claims 'Typical Dodd' at first sight changes the attribution. The massive sound and 'Organ-like' projection of this Master Bass will not change regardless of which London Shop it was made in.    

 Both Bernhard Fendt Sr. and John Lott Sr. were employed by Dodd who mainly did only the Varnishing of the instruments made by Fendt and Lott. We cannot say for sure even if this is from the Dodd Shop much less by Masters' Lott or Fendt but some of the evidence to date has shined in this direction. Both these makers started at the Dodd shop in 1798. Fendt in Jan./'98 and Lott in March/'98. Fendt left after 11years and went to work for John Betts whose' shop he took over in 1823. Lott left after some time and started his own shop but much of Lotts' work is Labeled Dodd. 

Note:  Recently, a New York Dealer/Restorer briefly examined this Bass and noticed a clear Italian-English flavor. Panormo is the only Italian we know of working in London during that time so that brings us full circle back to the shop of John Betts where Panormo was employed. Any Ideas? I would be glad to hear them. E-mail me at support@kensmithbasses.com 

This Bass until now has been used in all the Major London Orchestras for most of it's 200 year life. 

Master 7/8 sized Flat Back English Double Bass (Attrib. Dodd)
Upper Bout: 20 7/16" Belly Length: 43 3/4" (Back is 44 1/2' to Button)
Center Bout: 14 7/16" String Length: 41 1/2" 
Bottom Bout: 27 3/16" Varnish: Golden Brown Oil (English Gold)
Rib Depth: 7 1/2" (Upper Bout tapers to 6 1/4" at the Neck)
Top: 3-piece Fine to medium grained English Spruce
Back: 2-piece Flamed English Maple with upper angle break
Ribs: Matching Flamed English Maple with one replaced outer/lower Rib 
Neck / Scroll: English maple with Neck Graft. "D" Neck !
Fingerboard: Black African Ebony
Tuning Gears: Old Baker 'style' on Custom fit Brass Plates
Features: Master work throughout is evident on the Bass with Diamond nicked FF Holes, Master carved Scroll with Ebony 'Eyes' and a 3-piece Italian Style Top. This Bass has been Sold.

The Masterful cut Scroll and Ebony Eye are breathtaking to look at. The rear button however is slightly off center. Was this done to make the Bass look Italian as the Early English did so well? The inside of the Peg Box looks very rough while the sharply cut turns of the Scroll with 1/2 extra at the top show evidence of deliberate efforts to make the appearance Italian. One Bass dealer recently looked at this Bass and noticed the Italian Style Scroll, FFs and 3-piece Top. Upon further inspection of the upper Back bend inside the Bass we saw studs across the Joint in which he commented "The only Basses I have seen like that have been those by Panormo". So it looks like we may be back at the shop of John Betts where both Vincent and Joseph Panormo worked.  Is Panormo the 'Italian connection' within this Bass? What do you think?

This Bass was restored in the early 1980s in London. The upper Shoulders have been completely re-edged in a masterful manner. The utmost respect and care was given during this restoration as the work is nearly invisible to the naked eye. A new Bass Bar was also fitted as well as a new Bridge. The painted Purfling is also typical for Basses from that period. 

The Beautiful 'F' Holes are offset about 3/16"  and have sharp cut Diamond 'nicks'. 

The Stamp under the Back Button is a mystery being so blurred in its' appearance.

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