3-string Double Bass

3-string Double Bass

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The maker and provenance of this 3-String Double Bass is unknown, possibly made around 1740-1760. It has a six-piece table of pine, back of plain maple in two pieces, ribs of similar maple, grafted maple neck and pegbox attached to a period scroll, hand-forged individual tuning machines in the pegbox, and opaque orange-brown varnish.

This instrument has a reproduction Carcassi label. It is an interesting large bass in violin outline with a flat back is in a very poor state of preservation, retaining elements of original detail and an 18th-century veneered tailpiece. Although tuning machines were known in the 18th century, the machines on this pegbox appear to be of 19th century origin.

This double bass was acquired from the collection of Leopoldo Franciolini in 1892. Leopoldo Franciolini (1844–1920) was an Italian antique dealer who flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is remembered as a fraudster who sold faked and altered historical musical instruments.

Currently not on view
Object Name
double bass
Date made
Physical Description
pine (overall material)
maple (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 13 in x 27 in x 74 in; 33.02 cm x 68.58 cm x 187.96 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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