(with Italian Papers)
|Labeled- Martini Oreste ~ Printed & Signed
|Mantova ~ Fece Anno 1919
This early example from Martini and possibly the first Bass he made arrived here in USA for its first time in early 2004 and was in need of an American style Set-up. Several immeadiate repairs were also performed which included a new Ebony Fingerboard and Bridge with Adjusters. The Martini was brought back to life and restored earlier in 1999 by the world famous Italian Luthier Sergio Scaramelli in Ferrara (labeled within) who also restored the famous Dragonetti Gasparo d'Salo recently. On 12/05 Luthier Arnold Schnitzer/AES added this beautiful Chromatic 'C' Extension to this fine example by Martini.
A few years later while examining the Bass it was determined that it could also benefit from a Neck graft (its first) as well as some further internal restoration 'clean-up' work. The original Oppio neck was soft by comparison and several Shims had been made over time to straighten the Neck underneath the Fingerboard. The new Neck is not only a super hard piece of English Sycamore but was pitched back slightly further to increase the Bridge height which in turn increased the power of this alread cannon-like Bass. This work also included a new Bridge to accomated the added height and new Fingerboard made to the exhisting specs so as not to change the feel too much of my favorite Bass. The latest work performed (March of 2008) ensures the best structural and tonal capabilities of this beautifully made early Bass by Martini. This is actually my main personal Bass for Orchestra playing as well as other styles.
The Martini has a beautiful sweet dark Italian sound with penetrating power and is a joy to play as well.
Oreste Martini (1893-1957) is believed to have been a pupil of the celebrated Violin maker Stefano Scarampella (1843-1927) and was only about 25-26 years old when this Bass was completed. Martini, a Bassist himself from the age of 14 is noted especially for his Double Basses for which he won a Medal in Gold at the 1937 competition at Cremona. The Gold medal Double Bass by Martini is still on display at the 'Museo Stradivariano'. An appraiser in Italy mentioned to me that this Bass closely resembles Scarampella's Cello model in its design. This is the earliest dated Martini Instrument I have seen or even heard about and may very well be the fisrt Bass he made. It is noted that out of the 405 Instruments made by him by 1946, there are 45 Double Basses recorded (300 Violins, 10 Violas, 50 Cellos). I have seen 5 of his Basses so far.
|Scarampella School Orchestral Double Bass
|Upper Bout: 20 1/4"
|Belly Length to the tip: 44 1/4" (Back is 46" to top of Button)
|Center Bout: 14 3/4"
|String Length: 41 1/2"
|Bottom Bout: 26 3/4"
|Varnish: Reddish Brown
|Rib Depth: 7 7/8" (Upper Bout tapers from 7 7/8" to 6 5/8")
|Top: 2-Piece Fine grained Pine in the center to Slab cut on the outer flanks
|Back: 3-Piece flame figured Oppio (Italian Maple) locally grown as used by Scarampella
|Ribs: Oppio (Italian Maple), with wide flat external Linings
|Neck / Scroll: Original Oppio Scroll (Italian Maple) with English Maple Neck Graft
|Tuning Gears: Individual Krutz Gears mounted on raised Cheek Plates.
Features: Unique Martini Neck Block design with deeply carved Button and Neck Strips.
This Bass has been Sold.
|The beautiful Block area is most unusual and all original as well. This is an early Martini trademark. The Rib Linings and tapered Neck Strips blend in with perfect symmetry by the hand of a young Master Luthier.
|Beautifully cut FF holes with perfect form
|Tastefully carved Violin Corners
|A beautiful hand carved Martini Scroll with a 'teardrop' button in the back. The Martini also has a custom made Chromatic 'C' Extension by Arnold Schnitzer (AES, NY) and beautiful high grade tuners by Anton Krutz mounted on raised Maple cheeks.
|The perfectly balanced form of this Italian Bass displays deeply carved edges throughout.