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Virtual Tour of
"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
1789-1848"


Dancing Master's Fiddle (Kit) attributed to Richard Tobin, London, ca. 1800-1815

Note: Click on any image on this page to see an enlargement.

Le Maitre de Dance, engraving by J. P. les Bas (Paris, 1745)
"Le Maître de Danse" (The Dancing Master), Engraving by J. P. le Bas (Paris, 1745),
after painting by Ph. Canot, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague.
NMM 2681.  Dancing master's fiddle attributed to Richard Tobin, London, early 19th century.

NMM 2681. Dancing master's fiddle attributed to Richard Tobin, London, ca. 1800-1815. Kits, as they called them in England, but more commonly known by the French term, pochettes, because they could be put in a tubular case and stuck in one's pocket, were used by dancing masters, not to play for dances (they would not be heard), but to come to one's flat or apartment and teach their students the latest dance steps. More commonly built in the 17th and 18th centuries and often more elaborately decorated, this late example from the early 19th century is yet another illustration of how traditions continued to hold the public imagination, despite the profound changes brought about by the industrial revolution. Length: 395 mm. Board of Trustees, 1980.

NMM 2678. Kit bow by James Dodd, London, ca. 1800-1815. A rare little bow, built by a well-known English bowmaker, that has survived with the Richard Tobin kit. Board of Trustees, 1980.



Front, Back, and Side Views

Front view Bass side view Treble side view Back view


Pegbox and Scroll Views

Front view of pegbox Bass side view of pegbox Treble side view of pegbox Back view of pegbox


Views of Body and Neck Heel

Front of body
Back view
Neck heel


Soundholes

Bass Soundhole Treble Soundhole


Corners on Front

Front upper bass corner
Front upper treble corner
Front lower bass corner
Front lower treble corner
 

Upper Bass Corner

Upper Treble Corner

Lower Bass Corner

Lower Treble Corner


Corners on Back

Back upper bass corner
Back upper treble corner
Backlower bass corner
Back lower treble corner
 

Upper Bass Corner

Upper Treble Corner

Lower Bass Corner

Lower Treble Corner



Tailpiece and Button at Lower End

Tailpiece Lower end


Literature:  Musical Instruments, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Printed Music and Musical Miscellanea (London: Christie, Manson & Woods, March 14, 1978), lot 85, p. 24 and plate 5.

André P. Larson, The National Music Museum: A Pictorial Souvenir (Vermillion: National Music Museum, 1988), p. 53.

Margaret Downie Banks, "The Violino Piccolo and Other Small Violins," Early Music 18, No. 4 (November 1990), p. 590.

Robin Stowell, The Early Violin and Viola (Oxford:  Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 172-173.

André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), p. 39.


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Most recent update: March 1, 2014

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