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Violin

Violin

  • Place of origin:

    Germany? (possibly England or France?, made)

  • Date:

    about 1840 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Planed and purfled sycamore back; planed and purfled (bordered) pine soundboard and sycamore back; planed sycamore neck and ebony fingerboard.

  • Museum number:

    159-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This instrument has a spurious label, but it may have been made some time between about 1830 and 1850, when violin makers such as Thomas Howell were making violins and guitars in the form of a pear and other unorthodox shapes. This eccentric example with its lobed figure-of-eight form was seldom copied anywhere else.

Physical description

'Body in figure-of-eight shape. High-arched belly in one piece of pine, rising immediately from the edges; triple purfling (bordering) and f-holes with very small top circles. Back of one piece of sycamore or maple, triple purfled, with a repair at the left shoulder. Inside body, thin side linings, canvas strips at the two indentations, and a shallow bass bar. The neck, attached by a nail, is set in line with the belly edges and upon it is a packing wedge which has been reduced in thickness to take the modern finger-board. The scroll, quite well carved, has wide corkscrew spirals projecting each side. Ebony tailpiece and fingerboard.'
Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, 1998), p. 17.

Place of Origin

Germany? (possibly England or France?, made)

Date

about 1840 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Planed and purfled sycamore back; planed and purfled (bordered) pine soundboard and sycamore back; planed sycamore neck and ebony fingerboard.

Marks and inscriptions

Gaspar da Salo. In Brescia
On label inside the instrument.

Da mi restaurato
Restored by me.
Written in ink on the Gasparo da Salo label.

Dimensions

Length: 57 cm total, Length: 33.5 cm Belly, Depth: 3.3 cm, Width: 17.5 cm upper bout, Width: 21 cm lower bout

Object history note

This instrument was once part of the collections of Carl Engel (1818 - 1882). It was valued at £3, when acquired by the South Kensington Museum.

Descriptive line

English or German, about 1840 ? with a figure-of-eight body.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 17

Production Note

Anthony Baines says "Possibly German; seventeenth - eighteenth century'. Its figure-of-eight shape is similar to a French cither-viol of about 1830 - 1840, and may have been made at about that time, when luthiers like Thomas Howell made violins of unorthodox shapes.

Materials

Pine; Sycamore; Ebony

Techniques

Planing; Carving; Purfling

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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