Abraham Prescott Double Bass, Early 19th Century, 4/4 size, Concord, New Hampshire
A real player’s instrument in this historic American upright bass. Full sized, lovely wood choices, repaired and maintained, with C-extension and original scroll.
This Abraham Prescott double bass is slightly smaller and lighter than some of its gigantic brethren, but with a 47″ back is still as large as a contrabass comes. The pronounced neck button may suggest an earlier instrument than the neck heel “hump” we’ve seen on later Prescotts. Probably places it between the Scott Lafaro Prescott (1825) and mid-1830s and later basses.
This instrument plays great, currently with a lively pizzicato setup. The beautiful setup and modern string length makes it quite manageable to get around on for its size. Has all the church-shaking presence these were designed for. Healthy, but with its share of repairs over two centuries. Please call us for more details or plan a visit to audition – we currently have four Prescotts in the shop!
- Upper Bout: 21″
- C Bout: 15″
- Lower Bout: 27.5″
- Rib Depth: 7.25 – 8.75″
- Length of Back: ~47″
- String Length: 41.75″
- Neck: D
- Weight: 28.6 lbs
A short history of the Abraham Prescott workshop:
The Abraham Prescott double bass is an early American classic, one which can still be found in concert halls around the world. Based on the great variety of instruments made, along with the tales the instruments tell us when examining the construction, Prescott was working without forms and templates. His business grew and the addition of workers (Dearborn Brothers) saw Prescott become more of a manufacturer of instruments. The Dearborns had perhaps some better training and the instruments made during this time have a greater sense of refinement. In the early 1830’s Abraham moved the workshop from Deerfield to Concord, New Hampshire to expand his production and by the mid to late 1830’s began the construction of Melodians and eventually Organs. By 1850 Abraham retired and left the business to his sons. In 1858 the firm became The Prescott Brothers, and at that time, the string instrument portion of the business was either sold off and/or continued by the Dearborn Brothers under their own name, however, the production of orchestral instruments appears to have been over by the 1860s? In the 1870s the business became the Prescott Organ Company but by 1886 Organs had been all but sidelined as the production of pianos was in full swing. By the 1890s, the Prescott Piano Company became the official name, with the listed officers being Willis Thompson (President) and George D.B. Prescott (Treasurer). In 1896 the Concord facility was completely lost to fire and a new workshop was begun in a warehouse close to the original workshop. The company had a large distribution and dealer base throughout North America but eventually was out of business around the 1920s.
Upton Bass String Instrument Co. specializes in building award-winning custom double basses and offers accessories for the double bass. Upton Bass also services all instruments and bows of the violin family with world-class restoration and repair, to view our online restoration portfolio visit stringrepair.com
Upton Bass is ready to offer advice and answer any questions regarding double basses or related bass topics. Please contact UB at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the shop at +1 (860) 535-9399. Hours of operation Tuesday through Saturday 10 am – 6 pm. The Workshop (The Barn) and showroom are located in Mystic, Connecticut conveniently between Boston and NYC.