Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Bass identification - help required

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Cairobill, May 23, 2005.


  1. Cairobill

    Cairobill

    Dec 15, 2003
    London
    Hi all,

    Does the motif carved in to the back of this bass ring any bells?

    It has no other identifying labels but it appears to be a few decades old.

    Any thoughts much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Cairo
     
  2. Hi Cairo, that particular purfling design, or motif, as you say, is very common on German and Czech basses. Not a carving but just a nice little design done with the inlay that goes around the pattern of your bass, called purfling. Purfling use to be done with ebony, but now all kinds of space age materials are used. On less expensive laminated basses, purfling is painted on, or decaled.
    This design is used on newer Chinese Basses including the Christophers....it's very traditional. Your bass is more than likely German or Czech. It looks like the back may be laminated. Looks good.
     
  3. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Paul, just an aside that many woods have been used in making purfling over the centuries. Purfling is almost always made of 3 pieces with the two outside pieces usually dyed.
    Love your posts!
     
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    That Design was trademark for Wilfer Family Basses. I have also seen it on Roth Basses and some other Bohemian/Czech Basses. The Wilfers made for Juzek since at least the 1930s so it has been seen on alot of Basses.

    Martin, My Gilkes has 7-layer purfling within the same narrow width as the normal fine Violin size. http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/GilkesBass/165.jpg

    The newer Hungarian Bass I just got has 5-later on the Top. http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Mystery2/purfling.jpg
     
  5. Cairobill

    Cairobill

    Dec 15, 2003
    London
    Hi Paul,

    I noticed your remark about it looking laminated. How can you tell that from the pic by the way?

    Many thanks for your remarks as well Ken - this bass is actually in Europe, does that cast anymore light?

    Once again thanks for all the help,

    Cairo
     
  6. Cairo, I said maybe. Just something about the way the light is hitting it. I may be totally off bass on that one, and please don't take that as an insult. Take a look at the edges...you can usually see the pieces of wood.
    And Kenny Boy, my Bohmann has triple purfling, including on the very edges where you lay it down.....Na Na Na Na Na!
    And yes, it has bumpers on it.
    And Martin, you're right again, and I enjoy your posts as well.
     
  7. Cairobill

    Cairobill

    Dec 15, 2003
    London
    Hi guys,

    It's not mine yet, the price is reasonable and it does look very tasty. I'll quiz the owner and see if he knows what the deal is on whether it's solid, hybrid or fully laminated. I just have to travel a bit to try it and I was just wondering if there's a tell-tale sign of the back being lam...

    Thanks folks for your expertise,

    Cairo :)
     
  8. If you get the chance, Cairo, post some more shots...front, ribs, and the scroll. Up there where the button is, it looks like the color is worn enough to be able to see what's up.
     
  9. Cairobill

    Cairobill

    Dec 15, 2003
    London
    I don't have any details but here are some shots of the front...

    By the way I picked up on the scroll on Belfast Bass's new bass. Some similarities but his is bigger?

    Incidentally, the string length is 106 cm. I've been recommended going for 105cm. Is 1cm much of a difference? - bass will be specifically for jazz pizz.

    Thanks,

    C
     
  10. It's almost impossible to tell from these shots. The bass looks real nice either way. If you look at the edges and, as I said, up by the button on the back, you should see one piece of wood (carved) 2 or three pieces (laminated)
     
  11. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I can't tell from the picture if it is laminated or not. However,
    the Germans are very good at varnishing the edges of laminated basses so that you can't see the laminate unless the edges are worn.

    Look carefully at the picture again, it may have a sound post crack!
     
  12. Cairobill

    Cairobill

    Dec 15, 2003
    London
    Hi Martin,

    What have you noticed and on which part of the bass?

    Cheers

    N
     
  13. littlekatie

    littlekatie

    Jul 14, 2004
    London, UK
    who are you buying it from? because i have just bought one with quite a similar motif to that. pics to come soon
     
  14. Cairobill

    Cairobill

    Dec 15, 2003
    London
    It's from a private seller in Europe...

    C
     
  15. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Look at the first picture in from the C bout about where the soundpost should be. I see what looks like a dark line that looks suspiciously like a crack.
     
  16. Martin, isn't that a shadow of the wire coming from the Underwood?
     
  17. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Not on the back of the bass. Put your pointer on the first picture at the beginning of the post and enlarge.
     
  18. I know pick-ups aren't mounted on backs of basses...(kidding)
    I don't see it Martin.
     
  19. I do, I didn't notice it at first but now its actually quite visible. Looks indeed like a crack. This bass is for sale in the Netherlands in internet. The seller states it's fully carved, but doesn't know whether it's French or German. He says it's old but not how old.
    He is asking USD 2450 for it.
     
  20. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    That Bass is not very old at all. I guess 50 years tops from the pictures shown. It is German/Czech.. NEVER French!