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SOLD French double bass - Queniol - price drop to $5000

Discussion in 'For Sale: Double Basses' started by FiddleFixr, Jun 9, 2018.


  1. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Price:
    5000
    Strings:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario
    Early 1900s unlabelled French guild - Mirecourt school double bass - Quenoil Style.
    The top is spruce and I believe both body and neck are ash. It looks like a very well made instrument and also quite stylish with its elegant curves and lovely burnt umber hue. Fingerboard, tailpiece and body cavity all tap same note. Extra long fingerboard has never been planed. Tight neck joint. Original tuners have been lubricated and function well. It is comfy to hold and play. "D" neck is fast and slippery. I have all good, nothing bad to say about this bass for sure. I think the purfling is made of ebony and pearwood. :) Could be a Charles Bailly workshop bass, but that's just my own speculation. Its a bass that's hard to set down once you start playing it.

    Measurements: String length is 42". Length overall is 74". Upper and lower bouts are 18 3/4 and 25 3/4" respectively. Fingerboard 34 1/8". Rim itself is 7 7/8" and the bass has modern overstand of 1". Bridge is set for jazz and action set low in the commonly acceptable range.

    Selling price drop $5000 USD. Sale includes a newer form-fitting foam case with oxford exterior. Willing to ship if buyer does the initial leg work getting quotes. Best if you can drive here and pick it up in person. Sarnia border crossing (just north of Detroit) is only 10 hours from Nashville, and I can meet close to there.

    Thanks for looking, have a great day.
    Pics:

    IMG_2057.JPG IMG_2030.JPG IMG_2035.JPG IMG_2049.JPG IMG_2058.JPG IMG_2063.JPG IMG_2034.JPG IMG_2071.JPG IMG_2068.JPG IMG_2048.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Nice bass. Any thoughts on the different varnish colors top, back and scroll?

    Where is it located?
     
  3. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Thanks Eric.
    My thoughts on the varnish are that the brown was applied after the bass was made, and over top the original varnish. There are several different layers in some areas.
    As for the belly I believe someone removed the original finish before applying brown spirit with a brush. It appeared unprofessional and it wiped off easily with alcohol rag, down to a pale yellow ground which I think is original. I applied the french polish you see on the front plate over the yellow ground, and also applied some more brown to blend repairs to the sides.
     
    Eric Hochberg likes this.
  4. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Bumping.. Many people consider old French stringed instruments second only to Italian.
     
  5. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    Where in Ontario are you located, I have a few students looking for basses currnently
     
  6. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    I was in the area yesterday and checked out this bass and some others at Jan's home. Nice bass that is very easy to play, there is enough wiggle room in the bridge and nut to have lower action or keep it as is.

    Overall a nice bass with a lot of potential.
     
  7. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    It was nice meeting you Neal and thanks very much for the visit. Yes for my own usage I had the action so low it was nearly touching, but that's not the norm so I raised it for this sale. Seems like many of the Toronto bassists I meet are hard players with incredibly strong hands.
    Here are a couple pics showing the present string height settings.
    IMG_2314.JPG IMG_2318.JPG
     
  8. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Price drop to $6000 USD French Quenoil bass!!
    Big name stores seem to ask $15-20,000 for these.
     
  9. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
  10. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Price drop to $5000 for awesome bass :)
     
  11. Gah! Five grand???

    I dunno which makes my head hurt more — those massive linings or the huge mass and number of cleats.
     
  12. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Awe, that's not nice KUNGfu. Some that look like "massive cleats" in pics are cloth not wood. Edges of course are "halved" so no extra wood there. Some of the longer cleats to hold shape from warping. However you'll notice most of the cleating is in lower 2 side bouts. Option was to replace original wood or keep & cleat. I chose option # 2. I have wood milled for 2 new lower side bouts for this bass if buyer desires.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  13. I agree that you can go a little heavier on rib cleats without issue, but I prefer adding the least weight possible to a top in non-critical areas.
     
  14. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Yes I agree that cleats to the top should be thinned and feathered out especially in the critical areas. Mine may look thick in pics but they are thinned out pretty good with feathered edges. Easy to thin more if next restorer wants to do that. To match inside color I used an old recipe which included madder root - the splotchiness of coloring does take away from the aesthetic.
    As for pricing, Upton Bass valued this bass at $10 - 12,000 USD ($13-16,000Cdn) Feb. 2017 before work began. It was in pretty rough shape so I figured this is a $15-20,000 bass when all fixed up. Because the valuation was so high I took extra care not alter the instrument in any way hence choosing to keep & cleat the original lower bouts. Lower side bouts are easily replaced (my opinion) should someone ever wish to do that, and for me it would have been way quicker to replace than do all that wood straightening and cleating.
    I really love working on these old darlings and have a great deal of respect for both the instrument and also for the next guy who has to work on it. I believe its quite a bargain at this price but willing to look at offers. Found only a handful of old French basses have sold on Talkbass in last decade so either they're rare or players just hang on to them.
     
    garrett2 and KUNGfuSHERIFF like this.
  15. Mitch911

    Mitch911 Commercial User

    Dec 29, 2015
    Afternoon!
    What work still needs to be done on this beauty?
    Just from reading the comments I couldn't tell if it's totally ready to go or needs a little bit of work.
    I live in alberta so I could make the trek over there at some point...
    DM me if able!
     
  16. FiddleFixr

    FiddleFixr Supporting Member

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ontario
    Luthier - Jan's Fiddle Farm
    Bass is fit as a fiddle! Just tweak setup to your liking.
     

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