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Gasparo da Salo Model Violin, Markneukirchen and/or
Schönbach (Luby), ca. 1880-1900

NMM 6019.  Violin, Markneukirchen and/or Schönbach (Luby),  Germany, ca. 1880-1900

NMM 6019. Violin, Markneukirchen and/or Schönbach (Luby), ca. 1880-1900. Small, printed paper label with single-line border: GERMANY. Brand back, below button: CASPAR / DA / SALO. Top: two-piece, quarter-cut spruce with medium grain, broadening toward the flanks. Gift of Elenor Clements Fetherhuff, Aberdeen, South Dakota, 1996, in memory of Raphael John Clements.

Raphael John Clements, drummer, Hecla (South Dakota) High School Orchestra, ca. 1927

The former owner of this violin, Raphael John Clements (1909-1977), was born into a musical family. Both his father and one sister were outstanding violinists. Clem, as he was known, became a proficient drummer, as well as a serious student of the violin, viola, and 'cello. He received this late nineteenth-century German violin as a gift in 1918, when he was just nine years old. According to his family, it was given to him when he demonstrated the ability to play the tune, "Pop Goes the Weasel." Beginning in his teen years, Clem played in local dance bands, eventually organizing his own ensemble, "Greg's Nomads." Clearly, music was his beloved avocation. Clem's career, however, was in the electrical field where, as a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, he inspected military planes at both Elsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota, and Offit Air Force Base in Omaha. Prior to his death, he was an Electrical Inspector for the State of South Dakota.

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Hecla Orchestra photo from the National Music Museum Archives.
©National Music Museum, 2002-2014
Most recent update:   March 7, 2014

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