Violin, Brescian school, ca. 1640
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NMM 3358. Violin, Brescian school, ca. 1640. Ex coll.: Bisiach, Milan. Witten-Rawlins Collection, 1984.
This violin, possibly made in the northern Italian city of Brescia, has geometric inlay on the back and a carved lion at the top of neck, in place of the conventional scroll and pegbox. The lion rampant is a device on the coat of arms of Brescia, which was an important center for violin production, beginning in the early sixteenth century.
Front and Back of Body
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Signature text: Printed on paper label in large lettering: Gaſparo da Salò in Breſcia [sic]
Top: one-piece, quarter-cut spruce: medium grain narrowing on the treble side; hardwood pin through top into bottom block
Back: two-piece, slab-cut maple: broad curl ascending from center joint; maple pin through back button into neck heel on bass side of center joint; later ebony cap on button
Ribs: quarter-cut maple: plain
Arching: high; deep re-curve
Purfling: two-ply, dark-stained hardwood strips
Decoration: two-ply dark-stained hardwood strip geometric inlay along back joint; filled flaw under inlay on upper bout
Varnish: light orange
Fingerboard: ebony; later
Tailpiece: horn; keyhole-shaped string holes; silver saddle and flower-shaped, stamped ornament on face
Tailgut: brass wire
Saddle: ebony; later; originally extended into ribs
Endpin: black tropical hardwood; later
Linings: small maple linings at joint between back and ribs on upper bass, center bass, lower bass, and center treble bouts; spruce linings at joint between back and ribs on lower treble and upper treble bouts; small maple linings at joint between top and ribs in center and lower bouts; small spruce linings at joint between top and ribs in upper bouts
Corner blocks: spruce; small
Top block: spruce or willow; later
Bottom block: spruce or willow; later
Other: saw marks on inside of upper bass rib
Note: Click on image above to see a larger image of the soundholes.
F-holes: large upper eyes; prominently flared wings; steeply undercut; inside edges stained dark brown
Pegbox and Scroll Views
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Nut: ebony; later
Pegs: four brown-varnished light hardwood; concave head faces; undercut; silver pins in ends
Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the neck heel.
Head and neck: maple: faint narrow curl; head and pegbox comprised of rampant lion with red paint on inside of mouth; neck re-angled and lengthened at the heel
Total violin length: 586 mm
Stop length: 197 mm
Vibrating string length: 330 mm
Neck length (bottom of nut to ribs): 121.8 mm (original); 131.4 (current)
Top length: 355 mm
Top upper bout width: 161.3 mm
Top center bout width: 103 mm
Top lower bout width: 198 mm
Back length: 352 mm
Back upper bout width: 163 mm
Back center bout width: 104.4 mm
Back lower bout width: 196 mm
Upper rib height: 27.6-30.8 mm
Center rib height: 29.4-31.5 mm
Lower rib height: 29.4-31.5 mm
Go to Related Checklists
Checklist of Bowed
Stringed Instruments Made Before 1800
Checklist of 16th- and 17th-Century Instruments
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