Talbott Patented Violin

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Description (Brief)
This violin was patented by Sylvanus J. Talbott of Milford, New Hampshire in 1887, U.S. Patent #375,224. The patent application describes an instrument with “a number of strings,” fitted over a tapering cylindrical body with flat back. In Talbott’s Patent, he describes the instrument saying “I preferably use 15 strings,” although the patent model itself bears 16. The instrument is very similar in style to the Chinese la ch’in. There are two identical instruments in the collections of the Musical Division of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota. Catalog #4821 in the National Music Museum collections bears an oval stamp: "PATENTED / ALEXANDER / VIOLIN/ Dec. 20th 1887."
Currently not on view
Date made
Talbott, Sylvanus J.
Place Made
United States: New Hampshire, Milford
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Credit Line
Mrs. John Crosby Brown
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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