dolceola restoration

As Dolceolas go, this one was in very good condition. But even the best specimens of these normally suffer from some pretty major sturctural problems, for a combination of two reasons: the original strings are gauged too heavily, and the long finger joints of the frame are weak. As always seems to be the case, this one required disassembly and re-setting of the joints.

The finger joints of these instruments present a particularly difficult problem in that when they pull apart, large surfaces are not only still joined but joined under force. Then the glue re-sets and the joint is tighter than when it was new. The joints at this Dolceola's upper left hand corner were particularly stubborn, requiring four separate sessions of about an hour each in order to re-align it without damaging the finish. Fortunately, the instrument's cosmetic condition was excellent, and as a result it restored beautifully.

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These images below mostly just show the dolceola's "before" condition; only a couple of "action shots" from the restoration are given, those showing one stage of squeezing the joints back together. (Though not evident in the images, the back of the instrument had been removed when these shots were taken.)



Below are a before-and-after of the full front view, a side view shot, and a "glamor shot" showing its gorgeous post-restoration state.