Sell a cello or bow

S E L L   A   C E L L O   O R    B O W

We are often contacted by players looking for a new cello and also by cellists seeking to find a buyer for their old instrument.  In response we offer a service called the Cello Exchange which is designed to assist both the buyer and the seller.  We charge a modest sales commission of 12.5% to sell a cello.  From 2019, the starting price for cellos will be £15,000 and for bows, £1,000.  Cello Care Guide images 001 (3) Sell a cello

If a player wishes to sell a cello through the Cello Exchange, we will assess the instrument and agree a selling price.  We will also discuss the need for any minor repairs or set up work before the cello is made available for sale.

The owner insures the instrument while it is at our studio in Ely; we insure the instrument when it is out on approval.  When we find a buyer for the cello, we ask the buyer to pay the full selling price direct to the vendor.  We will then invoice the vendor for 12.5% of the selling price.For the full Terms and Conditions of the Cello Exchange, see  below. For extensive feedback about the Cello Exchange, see Feedback from Cellists.

The Cello Exchange has sold cellos by the following makers:  Barak Norman, Benjamin Banks, James and Henry Banks, Laurent Bourlier, Charles Buthod, John Carter, Aristide Cavalli, Charles J B Collin-Mezin, George Corsby, George Craske, Thomas Dodd, Bernard Simon Fendt, Simon Andrew Forster, William Forster Senior, William Forster Junior, Henry Furber, John Furber, Louis Guersan,  Lockey Hill, Henry Lockey Hill, Colin Irving, Anton Jais, Henry Jay, Thomas Kennedy, Marc Laberte,  Charles François Langonet, Mario Maccaferri, Paul Meinel, John Morrison, Léon Mougenot,  Giuseppe Pedrazzini, David Rubio, Ben Ruth, Jean-Baptiste Salomon, Wilfred Saunders, Wolfgang Schnabl, J&J Simpson, Thomas Smith, Mathias Thir, Robert Thompson, Antonio Ungarini and Peter Wamsley.    The Cello Exchange has also sold fine cello bows by Bazin, Bultitude, Dodd, Fétique, Hill, Ouchard, Peccatte, Sartory, Simon, Vidoudez and Vigneron.

We are currently seeking cellos priced from £25,000 upwards on behalf of cellists actively seeking an instrument.  We are also specifically seeking exceptional cellos by fine English, Italian and French makers.  If you have such an instrument you would like to be assessed for inclusion in the Cello Exchange, please call 01353 668559 or email us at  We also have customers seeking to invest in fine quality bows in the region of £10,000 upwards.  Please note that since September 2015 the Cello Exchange has ceased to sell cellos by living makers apart from instruments by Robin Aitchison.

Cello Exchange Terms and Conditions 

If a client wishes to sell a cello or bow through the Cello Exchange, Aitchison & Mnatzaganian will assess the instrument/bow and agree a selling price.  We will also discuss the need for any minor repairs or set up work before the cello/bow is made available for sale and we will discuss the estimated cost with the owner.  The owner insures the instrument/bow while it is at our studio in Ely; we insure the instrument/bow when it is out on approval.

If the cello/bow has not been offered for sale by a different dealer/auction house immediately prior to their consignment in the Cello Exchange, we ask the owner to commit their instrument/bow to a minimum period of six months in the Cello Exchange from the date of the agreement.  If the cello/bow has been offered by a different dealer/auction house immediately prior to its consignment in the Cello Exchange, we ask owners to commit their cello/bow to the Cello Exchange for a minimum period of twelve months from the date of the agreement.  If after six/twelve months the owner decides to remove their instrument or bow from the Cello Exchange, this can be arranged only when an instrument and bow are not currently out on approval with a player.  If an instrument and bow are out on approval, the approval process must be completed as normal and the current potential buyer must be free to decide whether or not to purchase the instrument or bow.  The owner is responsible for the collection of their instrument or bow from our premises in Ely if they wish to remove them from the Cello Exchange.  Payment for any agreed work completed on the cello or bow will be payable on collection by the owner.

Each cello or bow for sale will be listed at and in selected newsletters.  The owner will be informed by email whenever their cello or bow is taken out on approval.  When we find a buyer for the cello or bow we arrange for the buyer to pay the full selling price direct to the vendor.  We will then invoice the vendor for 12.5% of the selling price for cellos, and for bows priced over £8,000.  From January 2015 onwards, our commission charge is 15% for bows priced £7,999 or less.  Payment of commission is due only when funds from the sale are cleared in the vendor’s account.


‘Thank you for everything! you are certainly among the most ethical, professional, intelligent dealers I have ever dealt with.’

‘Thank you so much for all of your hard work over the past 18 months.  I am so pleased that you have successfully sold my cello. With your contacts it seemed to be constantly out on approval or had someone coming to view it.  If asked by a fellow musician where to sell their cello, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you.  I find you both extremely kind and friendly and also professional.’

‘I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to buy this wonderful cello from you.  As well as providing great inspiration for me, it is also attracting envious looks from my fellow players in our local orchestra.’

‘This cello has been a delightful and important addition to our life. Thank you both for your help and encouragement in making it possible.’

‘Thank you very much for all your help in finding a new cello and bow.  I couldn’t have asked for a better ‘service’ in terms of expertise and patience.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visits to Ely, so too did my daughters!  The new cello and bow are fantastic and I think have made a big difference to my playing.’

‘Thanks very much for your news. It’s good to hear of people appreciating both cello and bow.’

‘I thank you very much for all your explanations and your sincere interest in selling cellos in as good condition and as well adapted to the customer as possible.  I very much appreciated your straightforward answers to my questions.’

‘When I first saw the Cello Exchange online, I was very interested in one of the cellos advertised, but I had to travel to Ely in order to try the cello. Ely? A nice town situated 15 minutes by train from Cambridge, 65 minutes from London King’s Cross.  Over 500 minutes from Germany where I live.  I arrived a few days later to see the cello I was interested in and received a very warm welcome.  Everything went very smoothly and after trying a few strings – a house speciality – and searched for a good set up with Robin the cello showed me his best.  I tested the cello and decided a few days later to buy it.  That’s where the Cello Exchange differs from a standard consignment: I knew before that the commission would be 10%, and that I would know the owner’s name in order to pay him the price directly.

Once I decided to buy the cello, I also decided to leave my  instrument to be sold through the Cello Exchange.  How surprised I was to hear about ten days later it was sold!  Such a smooth double transaction was really unexpected!  Thanks to the big energy you both put in your workshop – it really became an Exchange for me.  I couldn’t be more satisfied by the amazing energy you put into both situations and can’t express how comforting it is for me to see my bank account refilled so soon!’

‘Just a quick note to thank you both so much for selling my cello. I can’t believe you’ve sold it so quickly.’

‘I enclose the promised cheques.  I actually enjoyed writing them!!! Please tell the owner how very thrilled I am to be taking custody of what I am sure was a beloved instrument to her, and that I will endeavour to continue her good work and be worthy of what it has to offer.’

‘Thank you for selling the bow for me.  I am so happy that I could ask you to sell it because I know that you would do it fairly and in the best circumstance for the buyer.’

‘Thank you both again for your generous help and advice – I can’t tell you how happy I am to have finally found a bow I love!’

‘Thank you so much for the work you have done in selling my cello. I am delighted with the outcome.’

‘Thank you for such an interesting afternoon and for all the help you gave Oliver in choosing his new bow. I’m sure he will have many happy years playing it.’

‘Thank you so much for all your work which you put into selling the cello. I’m glad it’s gone to a good home and I’ll have no hesitation in recommending you to other colleagues.’

‘Wonderful news all round! Please pass on my heartfelt thanks to Robin for his hard work.  It’s been wonderful to get to know you both a little more during this whole process and I do hope that we stay in contact.’

‘Many thanks. I am so glad my cello has gone to a new home.’

‘Thanks so much for all the attention to our wellbeing (green tea, seed flapjack treats) besides adjustments to the cello for comfort.  We very much enjoyed our visit to you and Ely.’

‘Please pass on this cheque to the cello’s owner with our best wishes and the knowledge that we will love and care for this beautiful instrument as she has done.  John is thrilled to bits and clearly feels  an enormous affinity with it already.’

‘Thank you for your attention.  We’re now one step closer to our dream retirement in the Yorkshire Dales!’

‘Thank you very much for selling the Lockey Hill and that it has gone to a good home.  I hope we will meet again one day.’

‘Just a note to express my gratitude and appreciation not simply for helping my son find his cello but for all the encouragement and respect you have shown him throughout.  It has made a huge impact on him.’

‘Thank you very much for helping my student acquire her wonderful cello. It is beautiful and she is of course a very lucky girl.  I have only taught her since the beginning of this term but already feel confident that she deserves it.  I can’t tell you what a treat it is to hear it towards the end of a teaching day!’

‘Thank you so much for all you did making my cello in better condition and suitable to be sold. I am so pleased to hear that a girl called Alice has it and is happy with it and I do hope it helps her playing and I am sure she will love it as much as I did.  With many thanks to you both and all best wishes.’

John and I think you’re a bit of a genius – with a little bit of manoeuvring you have ended up with two happy clients – and for your part a very small commission. Considering the demands some dealers make for their services, I think you are modest in the extreme. Added to which, it is always such a pleasure being in contact with you and Robin.  So, thank you very much for everything.’

‘Many thanks for all the hard work and effort, and congratulations on the outcome.’

‘Many thanks for a very pleasant association!’

‘Thank you very much for the opportunity to try so many bows. It was a very rewarding experience. And I’m absolutely glad I made the right choice with the Stephen Salchow bow.  It is doing wonders to both of my cellos already.’

‘Many thanks for all your work.’

‘A very big Thank You for helping me find such a lovely cello and bow.’

‘It has been such a pleasure dealing with you and Robin over the sale of my instruments – what could have been a rather miserable experience has been most enjoyable. I am so grateful to you both.’

‘I’d like to say thank you for all of your assistance in selling the Cello. I will definitely recommend you to people and should you ever wish for me to provide you with a testimonial for future customers i would be more than happy to do so.’

‘Thank you both so very much for all your hard work to restore the Banks cello and in finding a buyer.  I am so pleased that such a good cellist has been able to buy it.’

‘I am really looking forward to playing the cello and I really appreciate your patience, your assistance, answering innumerable questions, and your kindness.  I hope I can do you the honor of referring you to others some day.’

‘I would like to thank you so much for you help and your patience.  It was such a pleasure to meet you.  I especially wanted to thank you for not pressuring me in any way with my decision.  The cello got a stamp of approval from my teacher and she’s so impressed by the setup she’s sending hers in to have some modifications made.  I would happily recommend you to anyone travelling over to the UK from Australia and seeking an instrument.’

‘I thank you very much for your pleasant, professional advice and for sharing your knowledge with me without thinking of profit first. Every time I am with you I learn something. You make me a happy customer and of course I will return.  Thanks for being not only super-professional cello and bow dealers but real friends.’

‘Thank you so much for opening your home to us – we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Ely and had a walk around the lovely city (it was Apple Day!) and visited the cathedral. What a lovely place Ely is!’

‘I’m so happy about the cello. It’s great in the orchestra and especially playing Bach on it, is special.  With warm thanks.’