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Baroque cello by Henry Jay London c.1750


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Baroque cello by Henry Jay, London c.1750 Certificate of authenticity from John Dilworth


Henry Jay worked circa. 1740-1776 in London.  He was probably a pupil of Peter Wamsley.

Established independently in Long Acre, Covent Garden from 1740 and in Windmill Street, Piccadilly from c.1766. Typical London trade work of the period using a high arched Stainer model. Fine craftsmanship, occasionally with a good red-brown varnish, mostly with a thin brittle dark golden-brown recipe. Made a large number of dancing master’s pochettes or kits. Much of his work was sold through Longman & Co., later Longman Lukey & Co., and Longman & Broderip, whose various brands are found beneath the back button.

The two piece back of maple of strong medium-fine curl running horizontally across the back from the centre joint.

The ribs, peg box and scroll of similar although less pornounced curl.

The front in two pieces of pine of medium-broad grain.

The varnish of deep golden orange-brown colour on a yellow ground.


  • Length of back 757mm
  • Width upper bout 343mm
  • Width middle bout 251mm
  • Width lower bout 425mm

Letter from John Dilworth dated 17th September 2015 and certificate can be issued

The cello shown to me by *********** is an authentic work of c.1750, with an original label of John Simpson, the violin dealer of Sweeting’s Alley, London. lt was made for him most probably by Henry Jay or Robert Thompson, both of whom worked for Simpson, making instruments in the style of iacob Stainer. The back is of two matched pieces of English maple or sycamore with a small horizontal curl, the ribs similar. The head shows a slightly deeper and broader figure’ The front is of two matched pieces of pine with broad grain and some hazel figure’ The varnish is overall thin, golden brown in colour.

Additional information

Weight 12.57 kg
Dimensions 1044 x 58 x 40 cm


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