German Violin

Description (Brief)
This violin was made in Mittenwald, Germany around 1880. In the 1882-83 catalog of J. Howard Foote, this violin is among a group that “represent a line of cheap German Violins, which for workmanship and finish is not equaled by any similar goods in the market: No. 5857 Beautifully made, white or natural color of wood, with three elegant pearl inlayings on back, in Grecian scroll work, etc. ... $108.00 per dozen.” The double purfling on the table and back is augmented by a central ornamental purfling with shards of pearl imbedded in black pastiche and similar small ornaments at the top and bottom block areas. While the violin is constructed with complete spruce linings and blocks, for economy the bass bar is carved in place from graduations of the table. This violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, back of maple in two pieces with broad horizontal figure and ornamental inlay, ribs of medium-fine figured maple, neck, pegbox and scroll of moderately figured maple, fingerboard of spruce with a veneer of stained pear wood, and a colorless clear varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 35.7 cm x 20.65 cm; 14 1/16 in x 8 1/8 in
overall: 23 5/8 in x 7 1/4 in x 3 1/2 in; 60.0075 cm x 18.415 cm x 8.89 cm
Place Made
Deutschland: Bayern, Mittenwald
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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