“Horn Violin” Patent Model

Description (Brief)
This “Horn Violin” was patented by Sewall Short of New London, Connecticut in 1854 and received U.S. Patent number 10,867. The violin was made by Derazey in Mirecourt, France around 1850. Short’s patent application describes fitting a brass “horn” and pegbox to the body and neck of a normal violin. By hollowing the wooden neck, sound vibrations are transmitted from the body through the amplifying “horn.” The tone and power of the instrument was said to be much improved. The violin neck has been overlaid with brass for strength and is made of a table of one-piece spruce, one-piece maple back with irregular fine to broad horizontal figure, ribs of medium figured maple, brass covered maple neck and pegbox with attached “horn” bell, and an orange-brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 25 in x 8 1/4 in x 5 1/8 in; 63.5 cm x 20.955 cm x 13.0175 cm
Place Made
United States: Connecticut, New London
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent 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
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