Stenkjondalen Hardanger Fiddle

Description (Brief)
This hardanger fiddle, or hardingfele, was made by Ellef Johnsen Stenkjondalen of Bø, Norway in 1870. Ellef Johnsen Steintjonndalen (Stenkjondalen) lived from 1821 to 1876 in the small community of Bø in Telemark, and was the second son of the fiddle maker John Eriksen Helland. In the 19th century the Helland-Steintjonndalen family developed the style of hardanger fiddle that became a dominating standard for all makers. The elaborate fine line ink ornaments on this instrument represent the fully developed style of this family of makers. Knut G. (1880-1919) and Gunnar G. Helland (1885-1976) went to Chippawa Falls, Wisconsin, operating a violin and hardingfele business from 1909 to 1924. Gunnar moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 1929, retiring in 1962 at the age of 77. This fiddle is made of a three-piece table of cedar, back of plain birch in two pieces, ribs of similar birch, plain birch neck is terminated in an ornamented pegbox and stylized carved dragon head, and a semi-opaque orange-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
hardanger fiddle
date made
Stenkjondalen, Ellef Johnsen
Physical Description
cedar (table material)
birch (back material)
overall: 24 1/4 in x 8 in x 4 3/8 in; 61.595 cm x 20.32 cm x 11.1125 cm
Place Made
Norge: Telemark, Bø
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
Credit Line
Gift of Mary E. Maxwell
Additional Media

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