German Violin with Berliner Patent Tailpiece

Description (Brief)
This violin tailpiece was patented by Emile Berliner. Washington, DC., U.S. Patent #242,585, June 7, 1881. The violin was made in Markneukirchen, Germany, around 1880. It has an unusual spruce back and was made presumably under the direction of Mr. Berliner. Emil Berliner was an inventor working in many disciplines including the development of the modern phonograph. His invention on this violin is a mechanical device extending from the underneath the end of the fingerboard. The strings are attached to the mechanism rather than to a traditional violin tailpiece. This arrangement allows the player to adjust the downward tension of the strings on the bridge. The violin is made of a two-piece table of spruce, one-piece back of spruce, ribs of maple with even medium figure, similar maple neck, pegbox and scroll, and a transparent reddish-brown varnish.
Location
Currently not on view
patent date
1881-06-07
patentee
Berliner, Emile
Place Made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (part material)
Measurements
overall: 24 1/4 in x 8 3/8 in x 3 7/8 in; 61.595 cm x 21.2725 cm x 9.8425 cm
ID Number
MI*324622
accession number
68614
catalog number
324622
patent number
242,585
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. John W. Brackett
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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