Karr Violin Bow

Karr Violin Bow

<< >>
Usage conditions apply

This bow was made by Albert H. Karr in Kansas City, Missouri, before 1925. It is a violin bow with a round beefwood stick with a plastic face, weighted black plastic frog with pearl eye, white plastic slide and metal ferrule bent from one piece and cut to lock the ends in place, and a plastic button. The bow is stamped:


Albert Homer Karr (1885-1971) was an American bow and violin maker (1885-1971). For most of his career, Karr was the proprietor of musical instrument shop in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to repairing and selling other instruments, Karr made over 1,300 violins during his career and several dozen handmade violin bows. During WWII, Karr was contracted by the U. S. government to produce quality student bows.

The Violinist magazine for January 1921 featured an article about Albert H. Karr as well as an advertisement of his shop:

Exclusive Violin Shop
306 East Tenth Str., Kansas City, Missouri.

The Albert H. Karr Handmade Violins, finest
imported wood, sent at my expense on ten days’ trial
to responsible parties.
Large collections of old Violins including a Stradi-
varius, a Guarnerius, an Amati, a Villaume and a

One of the finest equipped shops in the United
States for repair and adjustment of fine old
instruments. Mr. Karr attends to this work per-
sonally. All work guaranteed.
Correspondence invited.

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
before 1925
place made
United States: Missouri, Kansas City
Physical Description
beefwood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
horsehair (overall material)
overall: 29 1/4 in x 1 1/4 in x 1/2 in; 74.295 cm x 3.175 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Janos Scholz
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.