1695 Ruggieri model cello

I was commissioned by freelance orchestral and West-End cellist Iain Ward. Here’s what we came up with.

Commission for a 1695 Ruggieri model cello for london philharmonic orchestra extra player iain ward

  • Built for power and projection
  • Had to be nuanced for both orchestral playing and West-End work
  • Had to be as close to historically accurate as possible

the research

  • Studying the original
  • Noting key features
  • Wood selection
  • Recreating the aesthetic
  • Fine-tuning the build designs to Iain’s requirements as a player

The original 1695 Ruggieri has a historic repair to the bottom. I recreated this on Iain’s cello, reflecting the aesthetic of the original. We did however concede to adding a modern carbon fibre spike at Iain’s request to help projection.

The Build

I love the build phase. The meditative state that you sink into when you get into a rhythm quiets my brain from the hustle and bustle of daily life and puts me into my zen-like place.

    • Making the moulds
    • Digging the back out
    • Setting the cello

    As a violinist myself, I’m keenly aware that each player has their own strengths and weaknesses. I try to work with clients to establish exactly what it is they are looking to achieve in an instrument and guide them to the model which will work for them. 

    the end product

    • Matching the varnish
    • Antiquing the finish
    • Cutting the bridge
    • Stringing her up!

    I can’t thank you enough John Francis. This cello is a work of art. It really has a soul and I can’t stop playing it. 

    Get in touch

    I’m old fashioned. It’s good to talk. Give me a call.


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