Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Seven String Bass Viol

Maker:
Nicolas Bertrand (1686–1735)
Date:
1720
Geography:
Paris, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Maple, spruce
Dimensions:
Height: 51 15/16 in. (132 cm) Width: 16 1/8 in. (41 cm) Depth: 9 13/16 in. (25 cm)
Classification:
Chordophone-Lute-bowed-fretted
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.1343
Not on view
This instrument retains its original neck, which was reshaped when the viol was converted to a cello, probably in the late eighteenth or nineteenth century. Bass viols of French origin feature seven strings, an invention of the French viol player Jean de Sainte-Colombe (fl. 1658–87, died by 1701). Nicolas Bertrand, one of the most celebrated makers of viols, incorporated this feature in his bass viols.
Marking: (on handwritten label) Nicholas Bertrand/ a Paris 1720; (stamped on button on back just below joint of the neck foot to the top block) BERTRAND
[ Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown ] ; William Snaith
Laurence Libin. A Checklist of Viole da Gamba (Viols). 2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pg. 21, ill.

William L. Monical. A Checklist of Viole da Gamba (Viols). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1979, pg. ii, 16-17, ill.

Pleasing Eye and Ear Alike. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1971, Vol. XXX, No. 2, pg. 68, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 64, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 64-65, 64+, ill.



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