Based out of Deidesheim, Germany, Jens Ritter is an electric bass luthier known for his artistic flair and luxurious basses. In addition to his exceptional line of basses is the Ritter Royal collection, which are set apart due to a “unique feature or an exceptional design history aspect of Jens Ritter’s career as a luthier.” In 2006 he outdid himself and built what has been billed as the most expensive bass in the world: The Ritter Royal Flora Aurum.
The handcrafted bass starts with a solid piece of the highest-figured quilted maple and matching headstock. Finding a piece large enough to build a body from is quite rare, as most builders only get enough for a top. Another rare piece is the nut, which is made of a at least 10,000 year old Siberian mammoth ivory.
From there, gold and diamonds are used to create the bass. The ebony fingerboard features a floral pattern inlay made of 24-carat gold, with each leaf of the inlay accented by a black diamond set in platinum. Gold inlays are also found on the pickups and just below the fingerboard, where Ritter put his signature. Further, the bridge, tuner buttons, and knobs are all handcast in massive gold. The two knobs are topped with flawless, 3.3-carat brilliant-cut diamonds, with tiny green diamonds set on the sides to serve as knob position markers.
The Ritter Royal collection only consists of one-of-a-kind instruments, and the Flora Aurum is no exception. The bass was last reported for sale at Wynn & Co. Jewelry in Las Vegas for $250,000. Check out more at the Ritter Instruments website.
Ritter Royal Flora Aurum Gallery:
Ritter Royal Flora Aurum Specs:
- Floral pattern fingerboard inlay made of massive 24 carat gold
- Every single inlay-leaf is decorated with a black diamond (set in platinum)
- The bridge, the tuner buttons and the knobs are handcast in massive gold
- 2 flawles brillant-cut diamonds (3,3ct) are placed on top of the 2 knobs
- Tiny green brillant-cut diamonds serve as knob position marks
- The handshaped body is made of a one piece highest figured quilted maple
- The Nut is made of at least 10,000 year old mammoth ivory