A fine and rare small-sized cello by Barak Norman & Nathaniel Cross, London 1724

Barak Norman died in 1724, after which point his apprentice, Nathaniel Cross went into collaboration with his widow for a period spanning 1724 and 1725. Instruments of this period labelled jointly as “Barak Norman and Nathaniel Cross” are invariably wholly the hand of Cross and various further markings within the instrument indicate that Cross was asserting his sole authorship of the instrument inspite of the label. This particular small-sized cello was probably intended for an adult viola da gamba player looking for a violoncello of similar scale, and now conforms to a good half-size. The modelling is exceptionally Italianate – the soundholes and scroll are directly copied from Giovanni Paolo Maggini, and the overall modelling is close to Giovanni Grancino in appearance, making for an instrument of extremely high quality and interest with potential for historical performance. Despite the very small size, an adult musician willing to trade size for a compelling history and tonal qualities could benefit enormously from so small an instrument, or an ideal opportunity for a talented young player.

The measurements are as follows:
Length of Back – 632mm
Upper bout – 303mm
Middle bout – 209mm
Lower bout – 376mm
String length – 600mm
Stop length – 353 mm

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