German Violoncello


This violoncello, was made in Schönbach, Germany, around 1880. It is made of a two-piece table of spruce, two-piece back of maple with fine, irregular horizontal figure, ribs of similar maple, neck, pegbox and scroll of plain maple with brass machine tuning mechanism, and an opaque orange-brown varnish.

On page 54 of the 1882 J. Howard Foote musical instrument catalog is the heading: “VIOLONCELLOS, or Bass Viols . . . German manufacture, with patent heads: No. 6013 Best quality very fine model, excellent in every respect, brass patent head ... $24.00 each.”

To give a sense of the Foote sales of bowed string instruments, there are 13 categories of cellos in grades from $10.80 to $55.00 each, while in the larger violin group, 74 grades are listed from $16.00 per dozen to $210.00 for a “Perfect copy of Stradivarius.” Only four viola grades are described under the heading: “VIOLAS. Or Tenor Viols, also called Altos by the French,” from $4.80 to $15.00 each.

Date Made: 1878 - 1882

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany

See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments, Music & Musical Instruments, Cellos


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Densmore, Frances. Handbook of the Collection of Musical Instruments in the United States National Museum.

Credit Line: Gift of J. Howard Foote

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MI.055687Catalog Number: 55687Accession Number: 11535

Object Name: Cello

Physical Description: spruce (belly material)maple (back; sides; neck material)ebony (tail piece; finger board material)gut (strings material)wire (strings material)Measurements: overall: 9 1/2 in x 17 1/4 in x 49 in; 24.13 cm x 43.815 cm x 124.46 cm


Record Id: nmah_605544

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