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Juzek: Master Art vs. Not

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by skullhead, Jun 9, 2004.


  1. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'm currently in the posession of a Early (1920?) Prague 3/4 Juzek Master Art (ebony diamond) bass.

    It's condition is "very playable", and "full" restoration (mostly bass bar / crack repair) is estimated at about $1K .

    My luthier was saying it really isn't worth much more than any other carved Prague Juzek. He estimated - As is = $3K, after restoration = no more than $6K.

    I'm guessing that the Master Arts are rarer than he thinks. Especially since he'd never seen one before.

    I guess my question is whether he's correct, value-wise.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    He sound a bit low to me, but it would depend on where you are trying to sell it, how good a bass it is, as well as how long you are willing to wait for your price. The price he gave you sounds about right for a newer (50's) German gamba-shaped Juzek, with the older, violin shaped basses coming in a grand or two higher (for a good one). My guess is that if it's a really good one and you have the right buyer you could get as much as $10,000 or $11,000, but don't hold your breath.
     
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    What does it matter? The $1K repair will still make it worth an extra $3K. What a no brainer!!!!
     
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Does your Bass have Violin Corners? Is there another label inside of 'Anton Wilfer'? Can you post some detailed pics for Id purposes?

    This will help 'me' at least answer your queston or not if that's the case, 'after' seeing the Bass.

    Is it a 3/4 or 7/8? Is the regular String length 43"?

    I owned one of the Prague Wilfer/Juzeks years ago and played several over the years. They are nice Basses but are still, 'Shop' type Basses made for the Export market to USA for Robert and John Juzek. The 1920s sound a bit early to me for his Import Basses. The oldest I remember seeing is 1936.

    They are worth more 'in my opinion' than the other Juzek labeled imports.
     
  5. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Pictures will follow.

    Yeah, that 1920 was hearsay. I have no evidence of date. It looks old. The finish is rough, but probably 80% original. Top edges grabbing any loose threads that dare to approach.

    Neck has a twist, but fresh fingerboard plane has it playing smooth. Quality old bridge was re-fitted. New tailwire + cheap endpin.

    Bass bar is pulling a bit at the top, but not yet cracked. Seems to be the biggest problem. I count about 7 cracks in top altogether. None as alarming as the ones at the saddle. Just noticed a small crack right above the pegbox. No problem if glued TODAY.

    My pro said the market in Pittsburgh is rough. I guess we're all tightwads.

    Oh yeah. New Thomastic Superflexible. I mostly bow, and the arco sounds good. The pizz sounds like a good bass should. Chilling.

    This isn't my bass, but I want it.

    Thanks for all the good info!

    Bill
     

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  6. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
     

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  7. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
     

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  8. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    String length is a hair over 42". No other labels, but I haven't taken a mirror to it yet.
     
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    That's a gamba-shaped bass. It's not 20's to my untrained eye. Also, I'd like to see some more detail, like the neck joint, from below the fingerbard as well as from above.
     
  10. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I need a pic of the upper back just behind the neck block. Also close ups or the ff holes and corners, front and back as well as the rear of the scroll and button. Also the ribs....

    Not a 'Master Art' to my eye.
     
  11. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I'll post those detailed pics tonight.

    The only reason I've claimed this to be a Master Art is due to the little black ebony diamond in the center of the purfling design at the back of the neck block. Well, that and the high flame.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
     

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  13. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
     

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  14. skullhead

    skullhead

    Aug 27, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hope I got 'em all. Tall order....

    Thanks for taking a look!
     

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  15. azflyman

    azflyman

    Apr 24, 2004
    Astoria, OR
    Skullduggery,

    If you can keep the top from caving in where the bassbar is I think it is a killer Juzek, Master Art or not. She shure if purdy :) Either way it is well worth getting fixed. I bet with repairs it will sound much better than it does even now!

    az
     
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I can check with Bobby Juzek, Robert's son and John's nephew, if he remembers if there were Gamba Master Art's made back then.

    I am not totally convinced this Bass is pre-war either. Pre-WWII is Czeck and post war is Germany. Same guys making them in the Schonbach area but moved across the border to avoid Communist rule.

    In either case, This is a beautiful Bass and at the least, the model just below the Master Art. You can see the Maple Flames absent in the center of the upper back. The Master Art in the catalog was described as highest grade Flamed maple back and sides. Also, I don't know when they adoped the name "Master Art" either. Sometimes, just like in my business, You make something for awhile and then for marketing reasons you make names to seperate the various models and grades.
     
  17. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    That closely resembles my old Juzek from the late 30's that i sold last year for 8k.
     
  18. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Would anyone know about Ron Carter's Juzek? Age, origin, that sorta thing. He said he's played it on all of the records since '59 and to my ears it sounds wonderful. How much would you expect a Juzek like his to be worth (notwithstanding the fact that it's HIS bass ;) )
     
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have seen his Bass with the top off in the 70s. It looks about 1940-1950 or so. Not such a high grade model. You really have to play and hear the Bass in person and not on a recording using a million dollor studio to beef it up. It does not have any kind of high value in my opinion because it's just a production import German or Czeck Bass. In 1966 they went for $200.carved - $850. for the Master Art straight from Juzek/Metropolitan Music.

    I also worked side by side with him in an Orchestra setting recording the Movie Sound Track 'The Wiz' (Quincy Jones) in the 70s as well. There were 4 Basses in the section. He was on one stand in front of me and I couldn't hear a singe note from his Bass the entire session. I was playing my 18th Century Italian Bass.

    Maybe I was drowning him out??
     
  20. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I always thought that was Tony William's job...