About a week and a half ago, I picked up my 1790 Pietro Pallotta cello from Russell Wagner, perhaps the most highly regarded cello restorer in the United States.
In the spring of 2005, the cello, which my parents purchased in 1980 from Hary Duffy Violins in Coral Gables, developed a bass bar crack, running nearly the entire length of the top. After consulting with a number of colleagues and dealers, I settled on Russell to do what was at first going to be just some repair work. We ended up deciding to have redo all the previous repairs, many of which had been done quite crudely. (In the photo is he is working on removing old glue.)
I’ll be posting more photos soon, including ones of the restoration process (meanwhile, there are some great restoration-process photos on Russell’s site). For now, a few before and after shots are in the posts below, the before shot on the right. Click on the photos to see expanded versions with more detail.
The lighting conditions were quite different–the before shots were taken in Russell’s shop with natural light and no flash (if I remember correctly); the after shots were just taken in my living room, with a flash. I wanted to get a few up tonight because I just saw that there’s a story on the DePauw website about my first concert reunited with the instrument, on Wednesday night here in Greencastle. I’ll work on getting some natural-light shots up soon.