Violin Fingerboard Patent Model

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Description (Brief)
This keyed fingerboard was patented by William Robertson of New York, New York on November 8, 1853 and received U.S. Patent number 10,213. Robertson’s invention is for a mechanical-keyed fingerboard that is placed over the strings of a normal violin to assist amateurs. The fingerboard has thirty-two buttons that can be depressed to change pitch without bringing the fingers directly in contact with the strings. The instrument is a commercial Mirecourt violin with heavily crazed varnish made around 1850. This violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, two-piece back of maple with even medium-fine gently descending figure, ribs of similar maple, plain field maple neck, pegbox and scroll, and a semi-opaque yellow-orange varnish.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1853
patentee
Robertson, William
Place Made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
Measurements
overall: 23 1/2 in x 8 in x 2 3/4 in; 59.69 cm x 20.32 cm x 6.985 cm
ID Number
MI.66.094
catalog number
66.094
accession number
249602
patent number
10213
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Violins
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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