James W Briggs cello 1899
Length of back: 29¾” (755mm) String length: 27⅛” (689mm)
This handsome instrument was made by James Briggs in Glasgow in 1899 and has a rich, powerful tone. It was the first instrument of a fine professional cellist. It features on pp 112-113 of Violin Making in Scotland 1750-1950 by David Rattray who describes it as follows: ‘Briggs’s cellos generally follow Stradivari’s elegant and narrow B-form, as with this fine example of 1899. In common with many of his instruments, the flamed bac, ribs and head have all been cut from the same log.’ More information and a recording will be published in the next weeks.
James W Briggs
James W Briggs was born in Wakefield in 1855 and was apprenticed to Tarr in Manchester at the age of 13, against the wishes of his father. He set up his own business in Wakefield in 1878 and after winning a gold medal at Leeds exhibition in 1890 and diplomas from Paris and Vienna, he moved to Glasgow in 1893, where he became a well known maker, expert and dealer.