German Violin with Berliner Patent Tailpiece


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.

Patent Date: 1881-06-07

Patentee: Berliner, Emile

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: District of Columbia, Washington

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. John W. Brackett

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: MI.324622Accession Number: 68614Catalog Number: 324622Patent Number: 242,585

Object Name: violin tailpiece

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


Record Id: nmah_606803

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