Royal College of Music
No. of Strings:
Dietrich Kessler [and heirs], 1967/8-2011; Michael Walton, early 1950s-c. 1967/8; a German artist who also repaired instruments
Fleming 2001: VME 26; BVMA 2000, pp. 300-01
Iden & Topham 2009, pp. 10-12; Fleming 2001: VME 26; BVMA 2000, pp. 300-01; Drescher 1990, p. 517; Pringle 1978, p. 511
Iden & Topham 2009, pp. 10-12 (body with table removed, underside of table, both before & after restoration; top & bottom blocks, rosette inside & out); Fleming 2001: VME F26 (front, body only), L30 (rosette) [both color]; BVMA 2000, pp. 300-01 (F+B, head 3/4 (color); Pringle 1978, p. 510 (front)
Only body is original. Rosette. BVMA 2000 dimensions, taken on back: 64.2, 30.8/22.6/37.5, 11.9, -; also reports Topham’s dendrochonology results: latest growth ring 1591 on bass side, 1593 on treble. Restored by CLC Ward in Dolmetsch workshops, 1964, according to inscription on inside of table. Restored by Topham: new neck and head (copy of Ashmolean Rose), also bottom block; crack repair, rib reinforcement, varnish retouched. Top block with 2 nail holes original; bass bar and soundpost plate from previous restoration. Fleming 2001: 7-piece table, double purfling front and back. Good condition. Roger Rose (pvt. comm. 10/08 and Edinburgh paper 6/00) thinks it’s by Henry Smith: very similar to his small bass at the Metropolitan, in size, shape and placement of soundholes, and design of rosette; John Pringle agrees (pvt. comm., 1/09), after comparing drawings, noting that this has 3-piece back, while Met’s is purfled to simulate same. Replacement handwritten label (photo seen at J. Topham’s, 10/11) states “John Ross / Londini fecit / The original label is / in the collection of / W.E. Hill & Sons” (but now apparently lost: R. Rose to TGM 10/2/08 reports David Hill told him they don’t have it).