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Showing results for tags 'Bassano'.
I was a little bit thrilled to discover that the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments have put this lovely little fiddle into playing order... https://vimeo.com/135052221 Nearly fifteen years ago, I was asked to have a look at an eighteenth-century practice violin on the hopes that it may have been a hundred years older than that. My considered view that the reappraisal was about 100 years out was not intended to boot it back to the nineteenth-century, but to cast it even further into the sixteenth-century. The shape, and the lack of ribs is more common in early iconography than one would first imagine, and the complex shape finds a number of concordances in a surprisingly widespread iconography across northern Italy, and as far as Poland and England, where a significant concentration of iconography seems to exist. A very exciting element of the violin however, was in the decoration, which includes silk-moths (quite anatomically specific) painted into each of the corners. This is the Armorial device of the Bassano family who came from Venice to London in 1538 as instrument makers, musicians, and masters of the science of musick on the invitation of Henry VIII. Another violin which I subsequently discovered (in the corner of a dusty attic of a castle - really!) that is the twin of it has tudor emblemata on the front and back, also providing sixteenth-century dating. A silk-moth stamp is very common in woodwind instruments made by the family in London. In a short time, my study of this will be in print in the British Museum Research Publication 196: The British Museum Citole: New Perspectives. The later front of this 14th century instrument shows the same hand, and is dated to London in 1578. In the meantime, it's fun to listen to an instrument as old as Andrea Amati, and probably one of the only primitive competitors of the modern violin to survive from the sixteenth-century. Enjoy!