are some pictures of the aforementioned Italian bass's scroll. Actually, the
bass came to me without an original scroll. I had to come up with something
so I decided to pull out all the stops. I carved a copy of a late 18th century
Northern Italian scroll without a neck. I then varnished it as new and began
the aging process. First, I drilled three holes as if it were a three string
bass. I had broken gears and worms from that period and used them to wear the
head as natural. I then plugged the holes,two poorly-the third nicely. Four
holes were drilled, re-bushed and re-located several times as would naturally
occur. All along other techniques were employed to age the scroll. I learned
a lot from my friend Oded Kishony, an expert on the subject. He taught me how
to induce varnish cracking in a convincing manner. Oded also showed me how to
add colors to refine the process. If you want to add black, it's a simple matter
right? Not exactly. All "black color" is not the same, different materials
that appear black refract light in different ways. What is the "black"
on an instrument? For the most part it is lampblack, after all how were buildings
lit and heated 150-200 years ago? This substance would constantly precipitate
in that environment and cover instruments. They would be cleaned and polished
over the years and it would accumulate. It was easy to make lampblack and apply
it judiciously. The result was very convincing.
final step was in grafting the scroll. I did this in such a manner as to make
it look like it was done decades ago. I believe the end result would have fooled
anyone without access to carbon dating. Of course I told the buyer that it was
a new scroll.