August Gemunder, Springfield Ma. 1858 (IN STOCK)
August Martin Ludwig Gemunder, Springfield Ma. 1858
String Length; 41.75"
Back; 45" at the button
Upper Bout; 19.75"
Middle Bout; 13.5"
Lower Bout; 26.75"
Ribs (not including plates); 7.75"/Block, tapering to 6.25"/Neck.
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 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.
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.
Ken Smith ~ http://www.kensmithbasses.com
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