Last seen in Baldwin, NY, the bass belongs to Brian Fountain, principal bassist of the São Paolo Opera House Orchestra, who has declared the instrument stolen following a fallen-through consignment deal

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An 18th-century Italian double bass worth $150,000 has been declared stolen by its owner, Brian Fountain.

Fountain is an American double bassist working as principal bass of the São Paolo Opera House Orchestra. In a tearful video on social media, Fountain makes a call to publicise the missing whereabouts of his instrument.

According to the video, Fountain left his double bass under the care of Barrie Kolstein and Manny Alvarez of Kolstein and Sons Music in Baldwin, NY, in April 2022, on a consignment agreement.

Fountain went to retrieve the instrument in April 2024, having had no offers on the instrument. That month, Fountain alleges that he was informed the bass had been sold, but was not provided any paperwork or contract to prove the sale. By May 2024, Fountain claims was unable to get in touch with either Kolstein or Alvarez.

’They are no longer returning my messages. Nobody affiliated with Kolstein and Sons will tell me where my bass is,’ says Fountain.

Fountain has now declared the bass stolen to the New York Confederal Authorities, believing the situation to represent obtainment of property by false pretenses.

The instrument has a top of six pieces of medium-grain spruce with violin corners. The flat back is made of four pieces of clear pearwood. The ribs do not match the back and there are no outside liners present. The bass has no purfling in either table.

The neck, which is new, is made from well flamed maple. The fingerboard is ebony and replacement individual tuning gears are made of brass with brass pegs.

The outer side wings of the top and all the wood of the back are cut on the slab. The top has a rapid high arch. The bass is believed to have been made around 1790 in Italy by an unknown maker.

’If you are with this instrument, please know that you are playing on stolen property. This has major legal implications for you,’ says Fountain.

Fountain can be contacted via Instagram @brianfountain.bass or email

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