New England Bass Viol

Unlike many New England bass viols, this instrument is constructed with interior linings and corner blocks, and the ribs are not inlaid, but glued flush to the table and back. The instrument is ornamented by single painted purfling with a small xxxx pattern beneath the button
on the back. The neck and top-block section, carved from a single piece of maple, is positioned inside the back with a small iron pin through the extended neck-foot. This bass viol is also unusually fine and intact excepting strings, bridge and soundpost.
William Green worked from 1798 to 1800 with William Bent in Boston. After dissolving their partnership, Green moved to Medway to make bass viols where he was joined by Deacon Allen from about 1815 to 1818. Green died ca. 1825.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Green, William
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Medway
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Music & Musical Instruments
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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