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Unusual Bass Bar Placement


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16 hours ago, Jeff Krieger said:

Any ideas as to why the bass bar would be placed at this angle?

There are/have been a lot of DIY violin tinkerers out there.  And, like a million monkeys with typewriters, eventually you will get something we think is funny.

Actually, I think there is some psychological drive to do abnormal stuff:  "to be better, it has to be different."

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Moses Tewksbury was born in 1787 and he died in 1860.  According to Wenberg, he worked in Chester, New Hampshire, in the 1830s through the 1850s.  His working methods were typical of early New England makers.  According to Darcy Kuronen, curator of musical instruments at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, "Most of the few luthiers active in New England before the mid-nineteenth century were apparently self-taught, and probably had little opportunity to examine well-made European instruments.  But they likely had access to older examples of string instruments that had yet to be modernized, and presumably adopted their assembly techniques from these models...These archaic features are easily observed in the numerous surviving bass viols from New England...New England instruments (especially bass viols) often contain a bass bar placed at a more pronounced angle...Few surviving instruments by [Moses] Tewksbury are known, but among  these are three bass viols...[1832, 1832 & 1844]...a double bass...[circa 1835]…[and two violins, 1840 & 1853]"  (From the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Volume XXVIII, 2002.)

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