Lorenzo Storioni (attributed)
Orchestra size Cornerless Double Bass
(Restoration completed March, 2011)
This Cornerless Bass was at one time briefly attributed to Pietro Giacomo Rogeri as well as Gasparo d'Salo in separate appraisals but was mostly attributed to Lorenzo Storioni. A Rogeri Bass owned by Italian Bassist Fernando Grillo looks very similar but the FFs are completely different as well as their placement. I have also seen a few other Cornerless Basses of nearly the exact same shape and all attributed to Italian makers. There is also a tenor Viola d'Gamba by d'Salo with a similar outline to this Bass but again, the FFs are different. All of the Spanish attributed Cornerless Basses seem to have less curve and a wider center, not at all as sexy! With that being said, we don't know for sure who made this magnificent Double Bass but we will let the Storioni attribution stand for now. The sound is unquestionably amongst of the best money can buy!
A few years ago this Bass was examined by two prominent Bass Luthiers in the New York area. Both of them commented on the age after looking inside and noting the extreme oxidation. They both said independently of each other that this was a very old Bass but not quite 300 years yet. The estimates given were both from the mid-18th century or possibly earlier. After the Bass was opened up for restoration it became evident to the restorer that the Bass might date from before the period of Storioni confirming his first assumption about its age. This by no means in itself lessens the greatness of this Double Bass that was well known in the Philadelphia area for over 4 decades of professional use.
|18th Century Italian Cornerless Double Bass
|Upper Bout: 19 7/8"
|Belly Length: 44"
|Center Bout: 16 3/8"
|String Length: 42"
|Bottom Bout: 27"
|Varnish: Dark Golden Brown
|Rib Depth: 7 3/4" tapering to 5 3/4" at the Neck
|Top: 6-piece Italian Fir of extremely fine grain
|Back: Highly Flamed Maple
|Ribs: Highly Figured Slab-Cut Burled Maple
|Neck / Scroll: Maple with Flamed maple Neck Graft
Features: This Bass had just about the warmest, thickest, dark sounding Organ-like Italian Bass I have ever heard. Even in its previously distressed condition (which it's been in for over 40 years) the sound carried sounding louder and deeper as you walk further away from where it's being played. Although this Orchestral sized Double Bass had a 44" string length, it played as easily as any other Bass I own despite its longer length.
In March, 2011 the restoration was completed. With the string length shortened to 42", the Bass is not only easier to play but the sound is even more focused than before. With its sweet sounding tone still intact, the post restoration sound displays its impressive pure depth of tone and power like in the past.
Note: Fully restored by Arnold Schnitzer, AES Fine Instruments NY, 2010/2011. Now with chromatic C-extension. This Bass has been Sold.
|The beautiful detailed Italian 3-String Scroll is breathtaking to look at. Sometime in the 19th century it was converted to a 4-String Bass with these beautiful old Gears. A custom made chromatic C-Extension now tops off the Bass.
|A rear view of the original handmade Purfling and recent block-cut to help reduce the original mensur. The new Block platform artistically capped in Ebony along with an Ebony Crown over the new Button area bordering the block platform on either side. The inlaid Ebony Diamond was a decorative touch used to fill in an old repair to the Center strip. The Center strip by the way does not go all the way thru but actually just inlaid Marquetry of several pieces of end-jointed Maple with the Grain running across and bordered by two long thinner strips of Ebony.
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