Brought Stempie into the luthier for an insurance appraisal. He had very nice things to say about the sound, and appraised it at a level that would let me replace it with a cello suitable for my level of development. (G”d forbid). One thing I realized – Stempie is very heavy compared with Estelle. It wasn’t just the case. It’s also time to set up a string savings jar for those new strings I am going to need.
Inside the cello, it was marked with “Alexius Stemplowsky – Engelberg”. That ended the mystery of where he was working. I had been unsure if it was Austria or Switzerland. Amusingly, this blog probably mentions him more than the entire internet, where a search brings up a few scattered references. If anybody knows anything more about this amateur Swiss luthier (born in Germany), I’d love to hear about it.