Here’s a cello that remains alive in my imagination, even though its a few years since I saw it last. The arching is extremely low, but it has the pinching that we chiefly associate with Jacob Stainer’s work – although I firmly believe that this is a Füssen trait far more established in Germanic making than Stainer’s own influence. It has double purfling, and the odd thing happening along the seam of the back is original, although it has been cut down.
In my time as custodian of this instrument, many of the respected European experts thought it was a Jacob Rayman, but purely on the supposition that if it was in my studio it must be English. I don’t think it is, but I think it is correctly identified as one of the Füssen diaspora. The question is who?
The dendrochronology is to the 1620s, probably fairly close to its manufacture date. Everything is wrong with the cello, and it has a later head, but it’s a truly remarkable survivor from it’s time.