Lion Head German! “1886”

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Lucas LaFave, May 13, 2019.

  1. CaseyVancouver


    Nov 4, 2012
    Lee Moses and Lucas LaFave like this.
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Carved lion's head scroll is hard to resist. Just sayin'...
  3. That head is machine-carved and suggests this was a low to mid-grade instrument of that period.

    In other words, just another factory bass.
    Lucas LaFave likes this.
  4. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    Will be taking the bass to my guy around 3 today. Will post more later. More pics to come too
  5. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    Luthier looked it over, kinda said some things I was already thinking about.
    Took some more pictures too just so you all can see the condition a little better.

    Neck has been grafted, then broken where it meets the scroll. Top is pretty disfigured but not to the point of affecting its stability or playability Top has also been doubled all the way around the edge, tripled in one little spot. Cracks, while there are many, are well cleated and the bass is pretty structurally sound. String length is massive at close to 44”, Ive got big hands and haven’t had trouble getting around it in the last few days I’ve been playing, but my luthier definitely had some comments about it. Bridge is a mess so it would have to be replaced. It’s strung with heavy spiros on the ADG and some terrible (probably red label) thing on the E.
  6. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    It’s definitely a “grab it if it’s cheap” situation. I think I’m gonna cap myself at 2,500 maybe 3,000, if they want more I’ll bargain but I certainly won’t go up. Bass plays well and sounds good so we’ll see how this goes!

    Attached Files:

  7. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    Some more

    Attached Files:

  8. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    Just had a second opinion from Aaron Reilly. I could only get photos to him, I’ll possibly bring it to him but I’m only in town for another few days until I head back home for the summer.

    He gave me a similar price cap and an estimate on a full restoration.
  9. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Any chance you could post a proper profile shot of the scroll, and include the upper part of the neck in the picture?
  10. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    And what will a full restore cost roughly? I’ve just spent $10,000 on restoring a bass, so I’m curious... Although the one I’m having done was in far worse condition...
  11. That is a whole lot of truly questionable work.

    jsf729 likes this.
  12. bassmanbrent

    bassmanbrent Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    If it were me, I'd take a hard pass. You'll spend more than this bass is worth to get it back into playing condition, I think.
    DrayMiles likes this.
  13. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    Would you care to elaborate? Just curious what your thoughts are
  14. Lucas LaFave

    Lucas LaFave

    May 13, 2019
    Not saying I’d go the full restore route, I’d probably just get a new bridge, endpin shaft, and strings then have it set up and call it good. It’s not falling apart or anything like that.

    But an estimate for a full go through was 2 grand, the work I plan to put Into it was closer to 600 or 700
    DrayMiles likes this.
  15. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    It says:
    C A Glier Sr.
    Streich Instrumentenmacher
    Markneukirchen 1886

    The second line means "string instrument maker". It seems phony though.
    In modern German at least, you wouldn't write it that way.
    Wondering about this I asked my knowledgeable friend Jonas Lohse. He said that the handwriting looks American:)
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  16. jonas


    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany), "Das Kontrabass-Buch"
    „Streichinstrumentenmacher“ is one word in German. If you want to write this in two words, you would use „Streichinstrumenten-Macher“. But not all makers were good in orthography, however.
    „Sr“ is not often used in Germany; „Jr“ is used more often – but both are not really common. (Besides that: A senior maker might not have known that he will been followed by his son one day … so there is no need to write this.)

    Handwriting: The capital letters show clearly that this is not a German handwriting, but American. In particular „S“ and „M“. The „1“ is 100% American: in Germany, we always have an upstroke-downstroke „1“.

    However: Despite the fact the written marking was clearly not written by the maker, it could be the correct information. Maybe a repairer added it, in order to keep the (correct) information on the bass, with no intend of fraud.
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Winoman, Lee Moses, gnypp45 and 7 others like this.
  17. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Didn't I say it? Jonas knows his stuff!
  18. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    44" SL, prior neck and scrolls repairs. Resale value just went way down.
    DrayMiles likes this.
  19. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    That is not nearly going to be enough to bring it to performance level. If you have to do it on the cheap, you should probably pass on the purchase. Double basses aren’t easy on the wallet... $700? Come on dude! I guarantee you will spend more than that... The bridge is gonna cost $500 most likely... Pass on it, methinks you can’t afford the pain...
  20. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    I just took an extended look at the pictures...
    You need to let this go unless yo have $5000 at least... If you think you’ll keep it for life and it speaks to you then get it by any means necessary...
    But, don’t think it’s an investment monetarily, it’s an investment of the heart...
    That is something I understand.
    Lee Moses and bassmanbrent like this.
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