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Mittenwald Double Bass circa 1950 - #2624 - SOLD

Front image of the double bass by Mittenwald circa 1950
Back image of the double bass by Mittenwald circa 1950
Side image of the double bass by Mittenwald circa 1950
Scroll image of the double bass by Mittenwald circa 1950
Click to zoom to the double bass by Mittenwald circa 1950

How do you know that this instrument was made in Mittenwald?

Well for a start the instrument bears a small printed label that simply states "Handarbeit aus Mittenwald" In a very tiny font "Made in Germany" is printed directly underneath this. The second strong indication of origin is the tidy workmanship and presentation which is typical for an instrument of this quality that was made in the Mittenwald region in the years that followed the end of the Second World War.

What is most typical?

The plumb-red varnish over a yellow ground is most typical of the Mittenwald school. In addition the smallish "three-quarter" size viol-shape and the use of outside linings - to add strength and support to the edges - were commonly used. Taking a look at the peg-box one will notice the original machines - set on brass half-plates. Although very functional they somehow don't have the weight and quality of machines that one finds on decent quality instruments that were made an additional fifty years or so earlier.

So where exactly is Mittenwald?

Mittenwald is located at the foot of the Bavarian Alps in the very south of Germany. Between the end of the 15th and the 17th century Mittenwald prospered as it lay directly on the lower trade route between Augsberg and Venice.

Isn't Mittenwald famed for its violin making?

Yes it is. Mathias Klotz (1653-1743) returned to Mittenwald in ca. 1685 and can be considered the founder of violin making in Mittenwald. He ran a large workshop in which he trained his three sons as well as many other violin makers from the area. Today the town still has a violin making school and there is a museum devoted to the evolution of stringed instruments and to old Mittenwald.

So that's a very brief history of Mittenwald but I'd like to know some more about the instrument.

Well, we would like to describe the instrument as being in mint condition - but for the fact that there is one minor well-restored wing crack on the table - we'd best describe it as being in very-near-mint condition.

Jazz Musician Chris Hill Playing the Mittenwald

Jazz bassist Chris Hill is pictured here playing the Mittenwald bass fitted
up with Pirastro Evah Pirazzi strings.

Chris is based in London and has played with Martin Taylor, Mike Batt, Dave Newton and Joe Stilgoe. He is currently playing for Jamie Cullum.

Have you done anything to the instrument at all?

Yes we've undertaken a full set up using a top quality fingerboard and an Aubert bridge fitted with our incredibly smooth brass adjusters. There is also a new sound post and quality brass end-pin unit, a new top nut and a new bottom saddle. In addition we felt that the sound and tone of the instrument could be improved considerably by making some internal adjustments. Courtesy of M.J. Bailey Luthier Ltd the neck has been reset to the correct angle, the table has been regraduated and a new bass bar has been fitted.

Phew - all in all that was quite a bit of work then?

Yes indeed it was. But in our opinion it has been worth all the effort - for the instrument now sounds absolutely fantastic. There is plenty of volume and tone of considerable maturity and the re-shaped neck (I forgot to mention that earlier) feels like a million dollars.

What about Value for money?

With restoration work amounting to £1762-00 and the cost of the fittings amounting to £660-00 - I'd say that with a price tag of only £11,000-00 you definitely are getting a lot of instrument for your money.

Summary.

Of particular merit is the advantageous string length (only 40.90in /103.8cm) the sound (well rounded) and the condition (immaculate). Could this smallish instrument be exactly what you've been looking for? I think that it could well be.

Stats:

Width at the upper bout 19.75in (50.2cm)
Width at the centre bout 14.65in (37.0cm)
Width at the lower bout 26.0in (66.1cm)
LOB 42.85in (109.0cm)
St length 40.90in (103.8cm)
.

Price: SOLD

For a very big view of the instrument, click on each of the photographs

Front View

Back View

Front View Back View
Side View

 

 

Scroll View

 

 

Quarter View

Scroll View

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