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Old 08-22-2016, 04:42 PM
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Arrow August Gemunder, Springfield Ma. 1856 (IN STOCK)(NY)

August Martin Ludwig Gemunder, Springfield Ma. 1856

String Length; 41 3/4"
Top/Back Length; 44 1/2" top, 45" back
Upper Bout; 19 3/4"
Middle Bout; 13 1/2"
Lower Bout; 26 3/4"
Ribs (not including plates); 7 3/4" tapering to 6 1/4" at neck.


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August Martin Ludwig Gemunder, 1814-1895. Trained first with his father in Germany. Moved to Springfield Ma. in 1846 and then moved to New York in 1859. This bass came to me in an extremely distressed condition in early 2008. The old repairs were not what we would consider professional by today's standards in the least. All of the old repairs were removed along with all of the non-hide glue as well. Each grain fiber cleaned out from foreign glues till the bass was ready to be actually worked on. In short, the top was pressed back into its original shape, many wood inlay repairs were done to the top, back and ribs. The string length was shortened down to just under 42" and a new neck was grafted. The Scroll/Pegbox button was carved to match a known twin bass by Gemunder in the new England area to look original. Countless other creative repairs were done to put this beautiful instrument into its 'new' glory to last another few lifetimes.

From the Henley book: Son and pupil of Johann Georg Heinrich. Born at Ingelfingen, 1814. Went to America, 1846. Established first in Massachusetts, later at New York. Died there 1895. Achieved a very fine reputation. Violins possessing a clear, mellow, and even a “singing” quality of tone, which readily responds to the slightest stroke of the bow. Stands any amount of forcible playing, also quite superior to many of the older Italian instruments. Modelled after the celebrated old instruments of Cremona and Brescia. Highest knowledge of each model and perception of its particular characteristics, outside and inside, magnificently portrayed in grand workmanship. Though the bodily resemblance is splendidly rendered, there is also something especially individualistic. Also imparted much of the peculiar tonal qualities of each model. In 1828, when he was in his 14th year, his father received from Prince Hohenlohe a quartet of stringed instruments made by Stradivari, which needed adjusting and putting in suitable playing order. Thus the youth had a glorious opportunity of studying and learning some of the cardinal principles of that maker. After settling in the United States he soon gathered around him all the wealthy amateurs and virtuosi, and they confidently entrusted their valuable instruments to his restorative skill. Made exact reproductions of the favourite violins of Ole Bull, De Bériòt, Sarasate, and Wilhelmj, which made these artists doubt the superiority of the originals. A truly wonderful genius whose craftsmanship never ebbed.

I have seen many basses made by 19th century makers from New York to Maine. New Hampshire was the most famous place for basses in the 19th century by Prescott and his followers, as well as a few before him. This Gemunder bass looks to be of Italian-German design. Many of the makers settling in New England and New York came here from Europe, some with ancestry from England. Gemunder being a full German, did what the Germans did back in the day, Copy the Italians! To me, I see a Neapolitan influence here in the design. The sound, post-restoration is more Italian than anything German that I can recall. Pre-restoration in distressed condition, it was smooth and deep sounding but was in no condition to be tuned to pitch for more than a few minutes of testing at most.

So, here we have the re-born, saved from the dead, a beautiful bass by August Germunder Snr. ready to serve in the ranks of any orchestra. Restored by Jed Kriegel, completed August 2016.
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Last edited by Ken Smith; 02-17-2023 at 04:22 PM. Reason: C-Extension being added, currently off market..
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Old 03-16-2023, 10:23 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Cool new C-Extension..

New C-Extension completed today by Keiran O'Hara in Brewster NY.
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