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Kit

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (Made)

  • Date:

    about 1680 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Fruitwood and bone back; planed pine soundboard, inlaid fruitwood and staghorn fingerboard and tailpiece.

  • Museum number:

    498-1905

  • Gallery location:

    On display at the Horniman Museum, London , case A

A kit was a small violin, also known by the French term pochette, suitable for carrying around in a coat pocket. They were played by dancing masters before demonstrating a particular step to their pupils. However, this example is made from expensive decorative materials, and it may have been intended as a collector's curiosity rather than as a working instrument.

On loan to the Horniman Museum.

Physical description

'Narrow model, with body of a fruitwood coupled with ivory in fancy alternation, shaped to five faces. Belly with nearly straight outwards-facing C-holes and a small hart-shaped hole near the fingerboard. Tailpiece and fingerboard of the same wood as the body, with feather banding in ivory which is in fact stag's horn. The finial is in the form of a sheep's head. Four small boxwood pegs.'

Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-Keyboard Instruments (London, 1978), p. 22.

Place of Origin

Germany (Made)

Date

about 1680 (Made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Fruitwood and bone back; planed pine soundboard, inlaid fruitwood and staghorn fingerboard and tailpiece.

Dimensions

Length: 47 cm total

Object history note

This instrument formed part of the collections of T.W.Taphouse sold at Sotheby's on 7th June 1905 (lot 33.) and was bought by the Museum for £5-15- 6 (£5.78)

Descriptive line

Kit, ivory and tortoiseshell, German, about 1680.

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.22

Labels and date

KIT
German; about 1650
Fruitwood and ivory body, tail piece and fingerboard. Finial in the form of a sheep's head.

Non-Keyboard Catalogue No.: 4/5

The kit seems to have been used mostly as an aid for teaching dancing although one Francis Pemberton "was so excellent a master of the Kit, that he was able to play solos on it, exhibiting all the graces and elegancies of the violin".

498-1905 [pre September 2000]

Materials

Staghorn; Ivory; Fruitwood; Limewood

Techniques

Inlay; Planing; Joining

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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