Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mute Violin

Charles Francis Albert, Sr. (1842–1901)
ca. 1886
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Maple, ebony, brass, various other materials
L. of body 35.7-35.9 cm (14-1/16 - 14-1/8 in); L. Overall 60.8 cm (23-15/16 in); Max. Width 19.2 cm (7-9/16 in) lower bouts
Credit Line:
Gift of Robert and Diane Moss, 1998
Accession Number:
Not on view
Mute violins have been used as practice instruments and for special acoustical effect since the seventeenth century. Leopold Mozart used the term "Brettgeige," or "board violin," to describe a mute violin consisting of a curved board without a soundbox. Patented in 1886, this unusually shaped mute violin has a body made entirely of maple, a wood that does not vibrate freely. The bridge height can be adjusted by two pegs located on either side of the body.
Marking: (labeled within and stamped above and below bridge) "C.F. Albert Philad'a" and "Albert Pat'd Feb. 9'86"
Robert Moss
Related Objects


Artist: Christian Frederick Martin (Markneukirchen, Saxony 1796–1873 Nazareth, Pennsylvania) Date: ca. 1838 Medium: Wood, maple, spruce, abalone, ebony, metal, brass, ivory Accession: 1979.380a, b On view in:Not on view

"The Antonius" Violin

Artist: Antonio Stradivari (Italian, Cremona 1644–1737 Cremona) Date: 1711 Medium: Maple, spruce, ebony Accession: 34.86.1 a On view in:Gallery 503

ex "Kurtz" Violin

Artist: Andrea Amati (Italian, Cremona ca. 1505–1578 Cremona) Date: ca. 1560 Medium: Spruce, maple, ebony, paint, gilding Accession: 1999.26 On view in:Gallery 503

Viola da Gamba

Artist: labeled Richard Meares (British, London 1647–1725 London) Date: ca. 1680 Medium: Spruce, ebony, maple Accession: 1982.324 On view in:Gallery 999


Date: late 19th century Medium: Wood, armadillo shell Accession: 89.4.2881 On view in:Gallery 749