Ludwig Neuner (attr.)

"La Fenice"

Mittenwald, Germany c.1860

19th Century Bavarian Orchestra Bass with Chromatic C-Extension

Mittenwald Flatback Orchestral Bass ~ circa 1860 
Upper Bout: 21 1/4" (just below angle break) Body Length: 44" (Back: 45")
Center Bout: 14 3/4" String Length: 41 3/4"
Bottom Bout: 28" Varnish: Reddish Brown
Rib Depth: 8 1/4" (Upper Bout at the Bend tapers to 6 1/4 at the Neck), *add about 1/2" to include the Top & Back
Top: 2 piece medium grained Spruce
Back: 2 piece Highly figured Birdseye Maple
Ribs: Birdseye Maple
Neck / Scroll: Flamed Maple with figured Maple Neck Graft

Features: This beautiful old Bavarian Bass recently arrived in the Spring of 2010 direct from Italy. This Bass was formerly used in the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the world famous Opera and Concert House. Now with chromatic C-Extension, it's set-up and ready for professional Orchestra use.

Sound & Usage: Having used it personally on several Orchestra and Jazz Concerts, this Bass with the same set-up works equally fine with the bow or fingers, Jazz and Classical, acoustically or even amped as well. This Bass is a great all around instrument including recording and solo playing. Getting around the friendly shoulders of this Bass is about as easy as it gets. The sound is quick, clear, deep and with a beautiful bottom spread as you might expect from a bass with a full wide bottom bout. This bass definetly out performs its pedigree in my opinion.

Note: I recently had my Mougenot Bass restored and while comparing the FFs of both Basses side by side I noticed they were almost exactly the same. The Mittenwald being slightly longer but the all the curves as well as the eyes and tabs looked to be from the same exact pattern. Mougenot having worked with N.F. Vuillaume had access to the Vuillaume patterns as N.F. had worked with and made Basses for his brother J.B. Vuillaume before moving to Brussels. This explains the Vuillaume FFs on the Mougenot. Ludwig Neuner although trained by his father originally had gone to Paris and worked for 6-7 years with J.B. Vuillaume. He also traveled to London briefly and also worked for a time with Gabriel Lembock in Vienna as well. This Bass has Vuillaume FFs, an English Gamba style outline and Back bend along with softer sloping shoulders than most Mittenwald basses. It is for these reasons that I make this attribution as Ludwig Neuner is the only German of that period that worked and traveled to France, England and Vienna. Although the Bass is a Mittenwalder, it also has Vuillaume FFs with the English Gamba pattern which is a modified German model so it's a full circle. The English copied the Germans and then the Germans copied the English with some French added which was taken from the Italians to begin with!

This Bass has been Sold.

This Bass has some beautiful and rare figured birdseye maple. The angled upper Back is also something that is less common on Mittenwald Basses as they are usually just bent forward slightly from the upper corner block. The angle bend on this Back is something you might expect to see mainly on English & Italian Basses from this period. My guess is that this may have been made for the English market but made in Mittenwald.

This Scroll sports a beautiful carved Lyra in the Button with a double veining blending into the upper tips.

Being that this may have been made for the English market, I want to also point out that this Scroll being is not original to the Bass. The Original Scroll was possibly lost early on as the current 4-string Scroll and Gears look to be about 100 - 120 years old.

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