Hawkes And Son Professor Double Bass: Hawkes & Son, Denmark Street, Piccadilly Circus, London, England
This Double Bass has been sold.
String Length: 42.25″
Length of Back: 44.5″
Length of Top: 44.25″
Upper Bout Widest: 22″
C Bout Narrowest: 15.5″
Lower Bout Widest: 26″
Rib Taper: 9.25″ to 6.5″ (The taper doesn’t begin until the upper bend)
Some Hawkes & Son History:
Known as Hawkes & Co. from 1860 to 1875, the firm was first established in 1860 as an importer of brass instruments in London by William Henry Hawkes (1830-1900), a state trumpet player for Queen Victoria. In 1869, he began to repair instruments, but soon manufactured instruments and sold published music, as well. In 1924, a one acre factory was opened at Edgware, north London, and they employed between 200 and 250 workers at it’s height. This large producer of brass instruments was bought by BOOSEY in 1930 to form what is known today as “Boosey & Hawkes”.
The instruments manufactured by Hawkes & Son (the name adopted in 1889) during the latter quarter of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century were often supplied to the many army and military bands that existed, especially in England. While mainly brass instruments, all of the violin family instruments were imported and sold though the Hawkes and Son workshop. There were three grades of double basses, namely Professor (Flat-back), Concert and Panormo (Carved backs) almost all based on the model of Vincenzo Panormo’s instruments.
All the models are characterized by their violin outline, deep ribs and generous proportions. The Professor was a flat back model with upper angle break, and often outside linings, while the Concert and Panormo were produced with full swell backs.
The Professor models are thought to have been imported from Germany, while the Concert and Panormo models, being superior in workmanship and finish than those of the Professor, are thought to be from France or domestically from English workshops.
Our Hawkes Professor was originally a three stringed model most likely made in Germany. The detail of the “duck tail” of the scroll is more like that of Panormo’s work than other models we have seen even within the Concert and Panormo models. This instrument has been very well restored by Zachary Martin (hearsay), an example of such is the complete rebuilding of the edgework on the top and rebuilding of the brace work internally on the back. Recently CARLOS HENRIQUEZ, double bassists for Jazz at Lincoln Center and Wynton Marsalis, visited our Boston showroom and commented that he has known this bass since he was a teen and originally it was a much lighter color (he also said it is an amazing sounding bass…like a cannon!). Some minor repairs were also performed by us, as well as a new ebony fingerboard was installed (see YouTube video) and a new bridge and sound post were cut.
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YouTube Video of our removal of the fingerboard: