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Double Bass Bow Handcrafted by Cheston Olsen

Discussion in 'For Sale: Double Basses' started by Joseph Catrambone, Jul 16, 2014.


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  1. Joseph Catrambone

    Joseph Catrambone

    Jul 16, 2014
    Hello everyone :)

    I am interested in selling my double bass bow, handcrafted by Cheston Olsen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Made in the classic De Luccia style, this bow is perfect for the "Philadelphia sound" established by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Ormandy emphasized lush string sonorities, legato phrasing and rounded tone. Outstanding for playing Beethoven, Brahms and Tchiakovsky, among others, this bow pulls a big, warm, sonorous sound with ease.

    The maker, Cheston Olsen, studied Double Bass with Roger Scott at the Curtis Institute of Music, graduating in 1952. His first orchestra position was with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. He eventually returned to the Philadelphia area to study bow making and instrument repair with the renowned William Salchow. He also apprenticed bow making under the famed Vincenzo De Luccia, and part of his early output was in the style of De Luccia.

    This bow was made by Chet in 1973, and I purchased it from him in 1991. It has been with me ever since, through college, teaching positions, several orchestra auditions and most recently with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

    It is a fine bow, and a great investment. Chet only made about a dozen bows in his lifetime, and this bow is one of his finest! Pictures of the bow speak for itself, this is a great buy.

    My asking price for this bow is $1000.

    Thanks for taking time to read about my bow, and feel free to add your questions to the thread if you are interested.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  2. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    This is an interesting bow, and a maker I have heard very little information about. This post should also be in the classifieds, and "feeler" or "make me an offer" posts are not allowed there.


    Mike
     
  3. Joseph Catrambone

    Joseph Catrambone

    Jul 16, 2014
    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your response. I found out about Chet through a mutual friend. To my knowledge he did repair work and re-hairs for the Philadelphia Orchestra and had a thriving business in the 80's and 90's. He was a kind man, who took time to answer all of my questions, and also gave me tips on playing and basic instrument maintenance. After meeting Chet, I bought my first tuning fork, and from that point forward, tuned always by ear which was a great benefit to me. I eventually bought a 1930 Juzek Flatback Double Bass from Chet along with the bow I have posted. The combination of the two was outstanding, and I was very fortunate to have use of Chet's bow and the Juzek for decades.

    As for the classifieds, this is my first time posting on Talkbass.com, so I was not familiar. I was also not aware of the rule you referenced, and would not have used this language if I knew it was prohibited. I bought the bow from Chet in 1991 for $1000, and I would like to get at least that much now. I had hoped to find someone who might consider $1500, but there is very little movement in the market right now, and I need to make a quick sale. Unfortunately, this bow has much more sentimental value to me, but I have fallen on hard times, and need to do what is necessary to survive. I have already sold my Juzek Flatback, and selling Chet's bow is the next step for me.

    Thank you again for your feedback. I will check out the classified section and be sure to post it properly with an asking price of $1000.

    Regards,

    Joe Catrambone
     
  4. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Joseph, where are you located?

    Thanks.
     
  6. bshaw

    bshaw Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Houston
    Hi, I sent you a "conversation" message in your inbox, thanks.
     
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Didn't see anything - you can email me at

    steve dot freides at gmail dot com

    -S-
     
  8. Joseph Catrambone

    Joseph Catrambone

    Jul 16, 2014
    Hi Steve,
    I just got your message. I am in South Philadelphia. If you are close, I would be happy to show the bow.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  9. Joseph Catrambone

    Joseph Catrambone

    Jul 16, 2014
  10. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    Ah, I'm an old Philly boy, still get down there from time to time although not again for a few weeks. I will touch base when/if I know I'll be in the area.
     
  11. Joseph Catrambone

    Joseph Catrambone

    Jul 16, 2014
    Great, it would be great to meet you Steve :)
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Sorry, but eBay cross listings are not allowed according to the forum rules.
     
  13. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I asked Chris to open this thread up for one more posting because I wanted to complete the story.

    I bought this bow from Joe. It's a great bow, my first handmade bow, and my teacher says it reminds him in many ways of a De Luccia (which, if you read above about Chet Olsen's history, makes perfect sense).

    It's also a good TalkBass story. I contacted Joe who lives in South Philly, and he offered to meet me in NYC - I live in Northern NJ not too far from the GW Bridge. I felt bad about him having to pay for a bus up here and taking his time to do that, so I offered to PayPal him $100, which he accepted, and he agreed to let me have the bow for a few days to get it informally appraised (thank you, Bob Ames) and looked at by my teacher (thank you, Jeremy McCoy). It's an act of trust that, with only $100 of my money, he let me have his $1000 bow.

    Everyone liked the bow, so I agreed to buy it. In order to save Joe some PayPal fees, I sent him part of the money that way and, since I was going to be near Philly in another week, I agreed to meet him at his home in South Philly and pay him the rest in cash. It was fun for me to drive by the Melrose Diner and just generally take in a bit of South Philly, something I hadn't done in years.

    So, a good TB story, IMHO. I got a good bow, lots of trust displayed and upheld on both sides of the bargain, and a happy ending.

    Chirs, now you can close the thread again, and thank you for opening it for me.

    -S-
     
    Gruffin1 and Jake deVilliers like this.

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