Violin (1/4 size)

Description (Brief)
This violin was made in Mirecourt, France around 1880. This commercial ¼ size “Boys’” instrument is listed in the 1880 Foote catalog, item #5986, for $4.25 each. The violin is very cleanly made with plain ebony fittings but without purfling. Young apprentice violin makers often began training in Mirecourt before the age of 14. Among their first tasks it was common for them to make simplistic small violins such as this example. Students would be graduated to larger instruments requiring more detailed purfling as their skills, knowledge and speed developed. This violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, two-piece back of maple with irregular, medium horizontal figure, ribs of similar maple, neck, pegbox and scroll of plain maple, and a semi-opaque orange-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 18 1/8 in x 5 3/8 in x 2 3/4 in; 46.0375 cm x 13.6525 cm x 6.985 cm
Place Made
France: Lorraine, Mirecourt
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of J. Howard Foote
Additional Media

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