Abraham Prescott

Modified 7/8 Double Bass

c.1820 Deerfield, NH.

Fully Restored in 2006

This is a most unique example of a Bass by the Prescott dynasty. It seems to have been in storage for about half of the 20th century from its condition and from what we learned when purchasing this instrument. This was a 3-string Bass as were most Prescotts' and was converted to a 4-string sometime in the 19th century. The Plate inlay area of the Scroll has been filled with a maple inlay and 19th century French Tuners installed. The ff holes are still attached and the Purfling is scratched in as is with many Prescotts but this is not original. This Bass was cut down from a 4/4 size some time ago. The Lower Bouts are fully purfled. The Corners all show traces of Purfling before the Bass was cut and re-shaped mainly in the upper bouts but the waiste shows evidence of alterations as well.

This rare and unique Bass was just fully restored by Luthier Arnold Schnitzer of Brewster, NY. The restoration took about 6 months to complete non-stop. We thank Arnold for his care and dilligence in keeping this Bass as original as possible while restoring it for the next century.

Modified 7/8 Double Bass w/ Chromatic 'C' Extension
Upper Bout: 21 1/2" Belly Length: 46" 
Center Bout: 15 1/2 " String Length: 41 3/4"
Bottom Bout: 28 1/2" Varnish: Dark Reddish Brown
Rib Depth:  8 1/2 "  (Upper Bout tapers to 6 1/2" at the Neck )
Top: 4-piece fine grained New England White Pine, Quarter Sawn
Back: 2-piece Highly Figured Sugar Maple of local growth, Quarter Sawn
Ribs: Highly Figured Sugar Maple of local growth matching the Back
Neck / Scroll: Maple Scroll w/Flamed Big Leaf Maple Neck Graft and Chromatic 'C' Extension
Features: This large looking Bass is actually easier to play than many Basses of similar or even smaller dimentions. The Sloped shoulders allow the player to play in thumb position with ease. The tone of the Bass is wide and colorful with great depth and clarity. The power is as expected from a top class Symphony Bass of any origin or vintage and then some! This Bass has been Sold.

A classic Prescott Scroll in its glory, converted to 4-string with a modern 'C' Extension added.

Prescott Scroll cornered and Beautiful at any angle.

Classic Prescott Scroll details top to bottom. The original Brass tuner plates have been removed and filled in with Maple inlays. We believe this was done when the Bass was converted from 3 to 4-strings as the current Tuners are French Mirecourt style dating from about 1850. It is possible that the Dearborn Bros. did the conversion as they ran the Prescott shop at that time and left a Label inside the Bass. The Bass may have been cut down at that time as well.

Prescott Trademark Purfling Loop showing signs of the shoulder cut. Scratched Purfling lines were common on some Prescotts as well. The Corners also show Prescotts' Purfling with signs of the original outline.

The F holes are still attached on this Bass which was a standard feature on Prescotts' Gamba and Busetto model Basses. This Bass has a high belly arch and FFs are attached with the original arching as if the Bass was made yesterday . I have never seen a Bass from this vintage in this rare state of preservation. This Bass does not have any center Belly cracks by the Soundpost or Bassbar and the shape is original.

This fully restored Prescott is a joy to play and bows with the greatest of ease. The bell tone highs and deep clean Organ lows can cut thru any orchestra. This Bass would grace any section in the world amongst fine Italian and English Basses as the tone is right between the two. The sound is so powerful that I would warn people not to sit in front of the Bass during FFF parts of the music as it could be painful... 'Warning label not included'!

Click here to see the before Restoration and Restoration photos

Copyright 1998-2007  Ken Smith Basses, LTD.
(All rights reserved)