Stradivari Violin, the "Ole Bull"

Description (Brief)
This violin was made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy in 1687. This violin is named after its 19th century owner, Ole Bull (1810-1880), a celebrated violinist and seminal figure in Norwegian music. The violin is made of a one-piece table of spruce with even medium fine grain broadening toward the treble side, one-piece back of maple with a beautiful broad descending figure slanting from treble to bass side, ribs of similar maple, with a modern maple neck terminating in the original pegbox and scroll of similar maple, and a golden brown varnish.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Stradivari, Antonio
Physical Description
spruce (table material)
maple (back material)
overall: 23 5/8 in x 8 1/4 in x 3 7/8 in; 60.0075 cm x 20.955 cm x 9.8425 cm
Place Made
Italia: Lombardia, Cremona
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
Credit Line
The Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod Stradivarius Quartet
Related Publication
Luigi Boccherini. Boccherini: String Quintets, op.11, Nos. 4-6
Friedrich Dotzauer. Dotzauer: Quintet in D Minor, Op. 134; Six Pieces for 3 Violoncelli, Op. 104; Three Etudes for Violoncello Solo; Quartet for Violoncello Obbligato, 2 Violins, and Viola, Op. 64
Auguste Franchomme & Frédéric Chopin. Franchomme & Chopin: Grand Duo Concertant; Caprices Op. 7, Nos. 2, 4, & 7; Two Nocturnes; Grande Valse, Op. 34.
Felix Mendelssohn and Neils Gade. Mendelssohn & Gade: String Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20; String Octet in F Major, Op. 17.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Complete String Quartets
Georges Onslow. Georges Onslow: String Quintets Opp. 38, 39 & 40.
Shinichi Yokoyama. The Decorated Instruments of Antonio Stradivari
Schubert, Franz. Franz Schubert: Quintet in C Major D. 956, Rondo in A Major D. 438
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

4/29/2015 8:29:16 PM
Ken Ramsden
I have an 'OLE BULL' violin, is asmuch as his name is stamped on the back of the fiddle, below the heel. Inside the name Antoio Stradivarius on a paper label. Of course... that this is Not a Strad, and OLE BULL never saw or played this violin, but it sounds lovely and rich. The important thing for me about this OLE BULL fiddle, is that it was my introduction to OLE BULL, his life and his music. Watch the OLe BULL documentary on youtube!
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