American Folk Fiddle

Description (Brief)
This violin was made in the United States around 1840-1860 by an unknown maker. It is made with ribs set into channeling of the table and back without corner blocks or linings. The fingerboard is of maple, stained black, with a paper finger position chart showing notes from a-flat to d'''-sharp glued to the fingerboard. The violin has a case that is a rectangular, compartmented box of unfinished pine, nailed together. It has a hinged top, and is lined with machine-printed wallpaper. The date for this violin is based on the historical period when this type of paper was popularly used in the United States. This violin is made from a one-piece table of pine with exaggerated “S” sound-holes, back of similar pine, cut on the slab, ribs of plain maple, maple neck, pegbox and crude scroll, and is stained a reddish-brown color.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
pine (back material)
maple (part material)
overall: 23 in x 8 1/8 in x 2 3/4 in; 58.42 cm x 20.6375 cm x 6.985 cm
Place Made
United States
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
Additional Media

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