This fine German cello is undergoing a full restoration at The Violineri.
A full & detailed clean is a highly important step in the restoration of an instrument. In this case, the front plate had developed a coating of dirt, dust & rosin that built up over time and basically formed another layer of varnish.
The front plate has had previous repairs to several cracks. A varnish retouch was also done but the colours that were used were trying to match the dirt/rosin varnish, not the original varnish underneath. This highlights the importance of a thorough clean, as this retouch is essentially incorrect & needs to be redone.
Cleaning an instrument this thoroughly is a painstaking process which can easily take a number of weeks. Various techniques are used to assist the cleaning, including a UV black-light to check the nature of the original varnish underneath the dirt. The most important part of cleaning an instrument to this degree is making sure that you do not remove original varnish – the UV black-light is extremely useful in this situation.
Please click the first photo to scroll through this restoration project.