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Bass viol

Seven-stringed bass viol with narrow festoon outline and detachable neck which can be housed inside the body of the instrument. Front of fine to medium grain, moderately arched, with two-part scimitar-shaped flame soundholes; purfling and edge-banding with inlays at top and tail. The bridge is located between two small inlaid raised ledges. Pale golden varnish. Ribs of quartered plain walnut. Back two-piece, of book-matched walnut, with painted purfling; there is a line of inlay along centre line with decorative inlays at top and tail. The hookbar is carved and let in between two narrow chequered strips. A door is formed from a section of the ribs of the lower bouts, turning on hinges of folded and riveted sheet brass and fastened with two hooks and eyes. The fingerboard is inlaid with chequered strips of walnut and ?plum; the tailpiece was made in the 1970s (as was the bridge) by Dietrich Kessler in similar style, replacing a non-original one.

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  • Inscriptions:Printed label on the inside of a hinged door in a rib of the lower bouts: "Viol de Gaba; / Die erste auff diese Manier / Hat mich erdacht / Auch selbst gemacht / Ein Sechzig-Jähriger Mann / In / Greiffswald / JEREMIAS, Würffel / Stadt- und Universität bestallter Musicus Instrumental. / Anno 1710"
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  • Repository:Royal College of Music Museum
  • Measurements:Overall length: 1202mm, without tailpiece & hookbar 1181mm. Body length: 663mm. Width: upper bouts 250mm, middle bouts 168mm, lower bouts 300mm. Height of ribs: at neck joint 69mm, at tail 96mm. Distance from tail to fold in back: 552mm. String length: 690mm.