Made by Carlo Antonio Testore in Milan, around 1720.
Special features: the back of this lovely small cello is in two pieces of maple with narrow flames, descending slightly from the centre joint, the two upper wings and the two lower wings are original; the ribs are of maple matching the back; the violoncello still retains its original neck, the table is in two pieces of spruce with medium to wide grain; the varnish a light orange brown colour.
For the last fifty years it has been in the collection of a luthier in Parma, who purchased it from Count Inigi Zanli Naldi di Faenza. Federico Toffano, the current player of the cello Testore, went to Parma to pay the luthier a visit, see his story below!
The first Jumpstart Jr Talent to play the cello Testore was Steuart Pincombe. He played it from 2011 until 2015, before he returned to the US to launch his ‚ "Music in Familiar Places‚" programme.
Federico was in Parma, sometime in January 2016. He has visited this beautiful Italian town before, to try an instrument to buy and the luthier (daughter of a very famous luthier in Italy) then told him that some years before his visit, they sold an incredible Testore cello to a Foundation in Amsterdam.
This time, Federico went to the same luthier to bring her a visit; he was very curious if the cello in that story could be the same cello had just received in loan for use by Jumpstart Jr. Foundation!
So he went with his Testore to the luthier and when she opened the door and saw the Testore, she started to cry!
She told Federico that her father bought this very cello in 1971! He was very happy with it and didn't want to sell it. But, around 15 years ago, he bought an incredible Villa (XVI century) outside of Parma and needed the money to repair the little chapel that belonged to the Villa. Then when he learned that Jumpstart Jr Foundation had no reason to to change the set up to a modern one, he finally sold his Testore to this Amsterdam Foundation. He was still sad, because this cello was like a son to him.
Then his daughter, the luthier, asked Federico to come with her and pay her father a visit. The father is 88 years old, suffers from Parkinson disease, and can hardly see or hear.
When Federico arrived he saw the cello case and asked if it could be a cello made by him…
Federico opened the case and the old man said: "my Testore”! He had to sit because he was so happy and shocked to see his Testore again.
So of course Federico played some Bach for him.