On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

500/1 "Violin Bass"

Höfner Gmbh & Co.

Not on view

The Höfner 500/1 “Violin” electric bass was developed in 1955 by Walter Höfner, son of the company’s founder, and introduced the following year. His idea was to create an instrument whose look would appeal to upright bass players and whose construction would be familiar to his workers trained in traditional violin building. Paul McCartney played a bass identical to this one in the Beatles’ 1964 performances on The Ed Sullivan Show, which initiated a long-standing nickname for the Höfner violin bass, the “Beatle bass.”

Technical Description:
Hollow body; spruce top, maple back, sides, and neck, rosewood fingerboard; 30 in. scale; sunburst finish with white and black binding; set neck with zero fret and pearloid dot inlays; raised gold plastic Höfner logo on bound headstock; two “staple” humbucking pickups, two volume controls, treble & bass pickup on/off and rhythm/solo boost switches; adjustable ebony floating bridge with metal saddles, metal “trapeze” tailpiece and tuners, pearloid pickguard and control surface, plastic “teacup” knobs

500/1 "Violin Bass", Höfner Gmbh & Co., Spruce, maple, rosewood, ebony, metal, pearloid, plastic

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Courtesy of Perry A. Margouleff