William Davy’s First Cello

An old and distressed cello had hung around the various workshop locations for as long as I can remember. Propped in a corner, hung on a wall, in sight, blending anonymously with all the other non-functional workroom furnishings.

The same applied several years ago to a similar violin made here in Bolton in Davy’s old workroom. Unlike the cello, however, we decided to strip down the instrument, rebuild and re-varnish it then offer it for sale, where we hope it is still being lovingly played and enjoyed.

william davy cello sigThe cello was still sat there, propped, hung and ignored, until we started to take interest in old pictures and events applicable to Booths in the last century. Here and in this period Mr William Davy’s name would pop up from time to time. Coincidently and looking to further develop our range of better string instruments, it seemed too much of an omen not to rekindle this local maker’s name so closely associated in the past with Booths.

Stripping the cello down for refurbishment, it became apparent we had an interesting example on our hands. Clearly written inside the instrument was Mr Davy’s signature and the date of build; also clearly stated was the fact this particular cello was the first one he made (not sure how many if any came after this) identified as No 1 and finished in 1911. Perhaps this is the reason why my grandfather Fred Standring kept it all this time?

So, as we now have a reliable and trusted source, from which at time to time we are lucky enough to be offered exceptionally good quality instruments, we thought it prudent to brand them with an exceptionally trustworthy and interesting name, William Davy.

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