Lorenzo Storioni (attributed)

Cremona Italy, c.1770

Orchestra size Cornerless Double Bass

ex-Bob Riccardi - Pennsylvania Ballet

 


 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 is just about the warmest, thickest, dark sounding Organ-like Italian Bass I have ever heard. Even in its current condition (which it's been in for over 40 years) the sound carries from room to room sounding louder and deeper as you walk further away from where it is being played. Although this Orchestral sized Double Bass has a current string length of 44" (pre-restoration), it plays as easily as other Basses I own despite its longer length.

Note: Fully restored in by Arnold Schnitzer, AES Fine Instruments NY, 2010/2011. Now with chromatic C-extension


This Bass had a mechanical Extension installed many years ago but old-school style where they cut into the Scroll. The Scroll was just fully restored and looks as original now. A chromatic/fingered Extension was added as well during the restoration without cutting into the head again. 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 Gears.

This Bass is one of the most comfortable Basses to play and now reduced to 42" String Length.

The wide Purfling is totally handmade.

The F holes are beautifully 'hooked' into each 'eye' upper and lower.

The distress of the Burled Maple adds to the Patina of this beautiful old Bass.

This non-Ebony Tailpiece has been converted from 3 to 4-strings as well as the Scroll/pegbox

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