Anyone know what this is?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Henry Boehm, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. Henry Boehm

    Henry Boehm

    Jun 16, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Sorry for posting this again, but I'm hoping someone out there has information this thing.

    I had a client bring me this thing the other day.*** is it.htm
    I've never seen anything like it. He said someone gave it to him a long time ago and knew nothing about it. It came in a tailored canvas zipper bag with this stenciled on the back in black lettering:
    PBV 57

    Inside the instrument is a tag that says "Made in England".

    It's all laminate construction and it appears not to be a "home made". It has German machines and best I can tell has a spirit varnish. The string length is appox. 34". Has anyone ever seen anything like this or know what it is? I'm guessing that the "57" marking on the bag is a year and judging from the looks of this thing, that would make sense in terms of a manufacturing date.
    The Double Bass Workshop
  2. Kat_Mia

    Kat_Mia Guest

    May 7, 2004
    Dorset, UK
    Wow-that's gorgeous! I love it (I'm a lover of weird and wondeful angular sculptures and things)!

    I'm no expert but being a music and art (along with other subjects) student for the last two years, I would associate that with Picasso. Now, I'm probably very very very wrong, in fact, I know I'm wrong, I'm just saying that I think it looks like something like that!

    Picasso painted stuff like this, this and my favourite, this.

    I would acossiate the bass with Picasso because he painted, very angular instruments, from a different veiw and perspective from other people, which I love.

    I also *think* it *could* be related to the old fashioned Lute. We learn about these in music at school, they look like this or this. Could it be that they are realted in some way and this bass was based on the shape of the old-fashioned lute?

    I don't really know but, those are my ideas and I'm a 16 year old student so I don't really know a thing. Plus I don't do history so I'm not up on all the dates and things but I love music and art. I don't quite understand what you've said about years in your post. Do you have any idea what year it was made?

    Are you working on this bass for someone, repairing it or restroring it? *nosey* I love it, it's fabby!
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I haven't a clue, either, but maybe send a photo to David Gage. As he makes cut-down basses as well as his own EUB, maybe he ran across this in his research? Just an idea.
  4. Henry Boehm

    Henry Boehm

    Jun 16, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Well, I'm glad someone thinks it's gorgeous! ;-) I thought it was kind of freakish looking...but that's not necessarily a bad thing I suppose. I hadn't thought about the Picasso like geometry or lute-ish characteristics.

    It came in the shop for repair and setup work (neck is pulling out of neckblock). Re: the year, I was figuring that the number "57" printed on the canvas bag denoted a year: possibly the date of manufacture, or at least the date of acquisition.

    I think your observations are quite astute-thanks for sharing.

  5. Kat_Mia

    Kat_Mia Guest

    May 7, 2004
    Dorset, UK
    I like freak-ish looking things, considering I am a freak-sih olooking thing, I think it fits quite well! It is loverly. Everything I see, I tend to compare it with something else, that's where I got Picasso and the lute-ish things from as to me, it looks similar to a lute and looks like the angular style of Picasso. I studied him for my exams this year and drew lots of Picasso style pictures and paintings of my double bass.

    What could 57 mean?

    I don't know anything about the making of basses but 'made in England' seems odd to me. Could it be that someone imported the parts? I wonder if it's the only one?
  6. Blaine


    Aug 4, 2001
    new york area
    I've seen a couple of cellos like that, one firsthand, the other listed on ebay. don't know if that helps, but it isn't alone. I think there was talk of it about 5 yrs ago on 2xbasslist.
  7. Steve Azola

    Steve Azola Azola Basses

    Jan 23, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    Hello -

    I think I can identify that beast quite confidently. Because of our Ampeg connection, we have a copy of distributor St. Louis Music's 75th Anniversary commemorative book, published in 1997. It shows, on page 73-74, photos of their Karl Knilling stringed instrument display at the 1973 NAMM show, and also at a music educators conference from around the same time period. Prominent in the photos you can see what they called the Karl Knilling Porta Bass ... which looks identical to your photos. There is also a smaller square-ish cello kind of thing in the book.

    Hope this helps in your quest for info.

    - Steve