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"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
"Le Maître de Danse" (The Dancing Master), Engraving by J. P. le Bas (Paris, 1745),
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.
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.