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Info on Bass Maker wanted

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Barry Miller, Nov 18, 2002.


  1. Hello Double Bass Folks

    Recently I re-acquired a double bass - the very one I first took lessons on in the 1950's when I
    was 13-years-old. After a lifetime in the music profession it’s been a thrill to have found this
    instrument. I discovered it in a colleagues basement, purchased it back from him and had it
    restored to playing condition.

    The label inside states it was made by Herald Jaeger. I believe the bass is German. The instrument
    has a huge wonderful sound for a 3/4. Is there anyone there familiar with the maker’s name or can
    tell me anything about where the bass was made etc.

    I’d appreciate any help you can give me.

    Barry
    British Columbia - Canada
     
  2. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Harold Jaegar was a German maker who worked in the early 30s. My bass teacher, George Cass, owned a very fine example. There were other Jaegars, members of the same family, who made basses, some of which were of a more student quality. The Jaegars are listed in Cyril Woodcock's Dictionary of Violin Makers.
     
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Martin-
    I've seen about a dozen or so Herold Jaegers and they all were labeled as being Czech in origin. I know that Jaeger is a name that goes back quite a bit in Markneukinchen making but I believe that Herold had a factory in Cz. Most of these basses that I have seen were definately factory made although of a very good quality. Good woods and varnish, but not Markneukirchen work IMO. The Henley dictionary lists 9 Jaegers [all Mnk.] dating back to the 1700's-but no Herold. What exactly does Woodcock's say?
     
  4. I check the Jaolovec 2 Volume Encyclopedia of Violin Makers and it shows a Hans, a Herbert, a Hermann, and a Hermann Ludwig BUT no Herald. My guess is that it is a house brand. In the old days, all the big violin houses had lines made for them that they labeled with their house brand. Some were very good - some not so very good.
     
  5. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Wouldn't it be nice if our memories were perfect. My teacher's bass was a Hermann, not Harold; early 30s, Maybe I should try vitamins?
     
  6. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Martin-the Henley book raves about Herman-that must have been a nice bass. I restored a Herold for my bud Paul Nowinski-we call it the Jaegermeister. If you've heard Rickie Lee Jones' "It's Like This" cd you've heard that bass. It's a good one. Interesting though, about trying to find out info like "Did Herold Jaeger actually exist?" or was he just a construct to lend credence to an instrument factory. I found zero info on the net. This is the kind of info that just dies. Mebbe someone in Europe knows.
     
  7. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    I'd mentioned my teacher George Cass who played with so many of the greats, I couldn't even list them all. My favorite quote of his is: "Life is one bad drummer after another".