German Consort Bass Viol

German Consort Bass Viol

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This bass viol was made by an unknown maker in Southern Germany, about 1730. It is a Concert Bass Viol, made of a two-piece table of even, fine-grained spruce, two-piece back of maple cut on the slab with faint, fine horizontal figure, ribs of similar maple, grafted maple neck and 18th-century maple pegbox and scroll with even medium figure, and opaque dark-brown varnish. There is a handwritten label inside the instrument:

Sebastian Mayr Lauten und.
Geigenmacher in München

In size, the body of this viol is that of a large consort bass. The overall workmanship of the instrument is rather rough and without ornament or inlaid purfling. The body is heavily ravaged by woodworm and is in a poor state of preservation. The body has been completely re-varnished and the table, originally from a large German viol of the period, has been cut and reduced at the edges to fit the back and ribs. The instrument bears an interesting 18th-century southern German ornamental six-string pegbox and closed scroll with two volutes.

Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
place made
Physical Description
spruce (overall material)
maple (overall material)
overall: 8 1/2 in x 16 3/8 in x 48 1/4 in; 21.59 cm x 41.5925 cm x 122.555 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Yale University
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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