Carlo LoveriNapoli ~ 1873
Branded on back Button plate
Restored by Giovanni Andrea Scalzilli (NY), 1937
Restored by Jeff Bollbach (NY), 2007/08
Carlo Loveri ~ Napoli, 1873 .... "ex-New York Philharmonic"
Makers of the Loveri family of Naples, Italy are listed from 1825 to the early 20th century with at least 3 generations named. Loveri Brothers c.1825, Carlo Loveri, Loveri & Sons and Diego Loveri as listed makers. I am not sure if Carlo is one of the brothers on the earlier date or a son of one of the Brothers. Carlo and his sons Raul and Diego are also noted to have made instruments for Vincenzo Gagliano as he is not noted for any Violin family instruments himself.
This Bass was restored and the larger squared Shoulders reduced in 1937 by Giovanni Andrea Scalzilli, a highly skilled Italian Luthier working in New York. I have discussed his name with two other dealers/restorers that have heard of him. His skills are evident here in the Bass. He made completly new Ribs and grafted Neck as well. The original Scroll was decorated to match the entire Bass with the same beautiful Violin Purfling. Older Mirecourt style French gear mounting scars were beneath the Gaer Plates suggesting that they may have been the original Gear of choice back in 1873 when the Bass was first made.
This Gagliano School Bass Restoration was completed in March of 2008. When the original grafted plate with the Loveri name stamp was removed from the Back the original Purfling channel was revealed. This was a broad shouldered Bass like a French Villuame Cello model. The Plate with the makers Stamp had been spliced off and mover lower over the new Neck Block/Button by Scalzilli. The Back was just completely restored and now has a beautiful piece of well aged dark tropical Walnut running down the center seam about 12mm wide (1/2") allowing the Back to overhang the Ribs slightly which were flush before. The Top although in good health was cleaned up internally as well while the Back was removed. Also corrected were the over reinforced Ribs with some double interior Linings and cross strips. The 70 year old Ribs made by Scalzilli hardly show any distress at all. The Ribs now have normal internal Linings left in place with all the excess wood removed. A new set of high quality Tuning Gears has been installed as well.
Prior to this Restoration I had used the Bass briefly in two Orchestras, Chamber ensembles, Jazz concerts and a recording as well. The Loveri has a sweet & punchy Italian sound with a smooth complex tone. The sloping shoulders also make it easy to play solos as well. This Bass now sounds better than ever with all the repairs completed.
|Gagliano School Double Bass ~ Orchestra/Solo Flatback
|Upper Bout: 19 1/4"
|Length: 44 1/2" Top & 44 3/4" Back (46" to the Button)
|Center Bout: 13 3/4"
|String Length: 41 1/2" (w/new extended Nut)
|Bottom Bout: 27"
|Varnish: Golden Brown
|Rib Depth: 7 3/4" slightly tapering to 7 1/2" (Upper Bout tapers from 7 1/2" to 6")
|Top: 2-Piece varied grain Spruce
|Back: 2-Piece Figured Maple with Walnut Center Strip
Ribs: Curly Maple with good even figure made by Scalzilli in 1937
|Neck / Scroll: Curly Maple with Curly Maple Neck Graft (decorated with Purfling by Scalzilli, 1937)
|Features: Unique Back Button plate with makers Stamp. This Bass has been Sold.
|This Bass has a spliced plate of the original Back wood raised and laminated to the 2-piece Back with the makers stamp and date. Under this plate is the old Purfling channel which runs across the Bass like that of an old French Vuillaume model. The plate was most likely above this like the false Button Cello models made by Vuillaume and others. The Shoulders were beautifully cut by Scalzilli in 1937 modeled after the French Solo Basses of the early 20th century like those of Charles Quenoil.
|Beautifully cut Gagliano style FF holes is typical of this Neapolitan maker.
|Top View of Scroll showing Scazilli's detail work
A beautiful hand carved Italian Scroll by Loveri with newly installed high quality Gears with Ebony handles. In 1937 Scalzilli purfled rear and cheeks with Ebony 'buttons' at each end matching the Top and Back purfling as well as inlaid Ebony Eyes.
|Closeups of the upper and lower corners showing traces of the original Purfling as is runs off the Bass in both directions revealing the larger outline of the original Neopolitan shoulders as used by the Loveri family for generations. Scalzilli's work here again shows his attention to detail with beautiful Violin Purfling matching the Scroll.
|A Shim was added some time ago under the Fingerboard to improve the Neck stand and String height and the Shim joint purfled. A matching inlay was in the Back center seam as well but has been replaced by a wider strip of Tropical Walnut. The Top/Rib joint was also purfled with the same Violin Purfling as the Top, Back and Scroll.