Osztreicher bass

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by s_mury, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. s_mury


    Mar 3, 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
    Hi everyone,

    I just bought a second hand Osztreicher double bass.
    It has a solid, hand craved front and back and is 3/4 size.
    Has anyone heard of this make before?
    I can't find anything about it on the net.
  2. Show us some pictures and anything else you know about your bass.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Are you sure you're spelling it correctly - that name looks a bit like the word for Austrian....?

    e.g. in German, Austria is called "Österreich" .
  4. s_mury


    Mar 3, 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
    Thats the correct spelling but with an umlaut over the 'O'.
    I was thinking the same thing about the austrian connection.

    I dont have a camera so i wont be able to get any pictures up, sorry. And its in the french style
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - there aren't really "makes" of DB in Europe, as such - they're mostly individual craftsmen just working in small numbers - I was thinking this just means, it was made in Austria.....?

    Or it could be somebody's surname - meaning literally "The Austrian" in Romanian or Hungarian or something like that?
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Bruce, there are and have been Shops producing String instruments for 100s of years. In the last 150 years or so, there have been numerous shops employing many workman. In France for instance there was 'Gand & Bernadel'. Some Shops like 'Wilfer' by the German/Czech Border made instruments with the 'Wilfer' name as well as exports for the 'Juzek' Family for the last 70 years or even more. I recently saw an early 20th century Italian Bass with a Label that was a Brand/Make but actually made by one of the 'Antoinazzi' family as they were a supplier to this firm. 'C.F. Pfretzchner' made instruments with other labels like his father, grand father and great grand father. Some are branded 'G.A. Pf.' (actually a Bow maker) and several spotted in the US are labelled 'Morelli'. The 'Morelli' name is believed by some to be solely built by 'Karl Herrmann' (or in the shop of ') but the Labels in Many Basses of identical look and dimentions have been seen with 'GA PF'. or 'Morelli' as the Label being the only difference. 'Morelli' is actually a made up Brand name from what I can tell. Even the 'Saumer' shop in Germany I believe, made 'Morelli' brand Basses in the mid 20th century called 'Saumer-Morelli' as the Name was popular like 'Juzek' and as you know, 'business is business'. Some believe that Dealers put labels in Basses just to sell them for a higher price but there are too many identical Basses with the same exact label and design features for this to be a coincidence. These Basses have more than likely never been in the same shop unless the importer Labelled them Morelli instead of 'GA Pfretzchner' before selling them to shops in USA.

    Business and trade have been going on for centuries way before any of us reading this were born. Wether Basses are Handmade entirly, Shop made, Cottage industry and assembled in the shop or made with the aid of machines, old or new, the Shop Bass has been and is here to stay. I think we call it 'team work' in USA.
    We Drive one every day.........
  7. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    To further expound on Ken's dissertation above: In Bavaria there is a centuries-old tradition of home workers. Almost everyone in the area was a farmer working a family homestead. Winter in the Alps is severe, and there is little farm work that can be done in those conditions. Many of the farmers and their family members took training in various aspects of violin-family instrument making, and then would spend winters doing part-making in their small home workshops. Karl's family might make scrolls, Heinrich's rib assemblies, Johann's top and back plates, etc. As the parts were finished they were delivered to the "Macher" whose shop would assemble, varnish and set-up, then put their label in the instrument. BTW, this history was explained to me by a prominent instrument maker in a bar in Mittenwald (where they have the most amazing beer), a stone's throw from the town square statue of Matthias Klotz, who is considered the "father" of violin-making in that area. The practice was also prevalent in other areas of Europe, and it continues to this day, though to a lesser extent, as there are many career opportunities available nowadays aside from farming.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was really just trying to emphasise that there aren't "Makes" of DB in Europe like Fender or something! ;)

    I'm interested in this subject as I have been looking for a DB in Europe and have chased up all Bob Golihur's (All Hail!) links to European bass makers.

    Of course there have been shops "mass-producing" basses in the past - but there don't seem to be any around now - as far as I could find from my searches...? The closest I found was Bob's own arrangement for Bulgarian carved basses...?

    What seems to mislead "newbies" in Europe looking for DBs is that you will see cheap basses advertised for sale in Germany with German-sounding names - which area actually factory-made in China and imported..:meh:

    I phoned up a lot of places in Britain, which looked like reasonable concerns - nice websites, with lots of pictures etc. etc. and they all turned out to be one person, working on their own at home, making basses to order or importing basses and setting them up.
  9. Arnold

    When I visited Michael Krahmer recently, He told us a story of how when he was restoring an old Mittenwald bass, he found the signature on one of the plates of a distant relative of someone he knew in town. Apparently they didn't even know that one of their relatives made bass parts! In China they do a similar thing in the big shops where one person works only on a very small portion of the whole instrument like carving the left side of the scroll or something like that. They are not allowed to work on any other part lest they learn how to make complete instruments and become competition for the shop.