A Bad Break
he point of showing this is to remind you that there is usually a way to make things whole again, even when it seems out of the realm of possibility at the time. God forbid anyone should have such an experience, and fortunately, this seldom happens to anyone. However, occasionally, an accident can occur with an instrument and it can be heart wrenching for the owner. This series of snapshots shows a cello owned by Roy Harran. He had left it backstage, and consciously and carefully well out of the way of any traffic. Still, someone found their way into this area and tripped, falling down on the cello. He was traumatized by this dreadful situation and we all hope we never have to see this.
Had this been a Strad cello, it would have been repaired by an extremely skilled restorer, who would have been able to make every crack invisible or very nearly so. Painstaking work of this kind is very expensive. However, on an instrument from a living maker, either the maker can repair the damage or make a replacement part. In this case, and two other such cases, I elected to simply make a new top for the instrument. To unify the final result, I removed the majority of the varnish from the rest of the instrument and then varnished the new top along with the rest to tie it all together visually. This outcome gave the owner back his instrument, once again restored to whole and with no loss of value.