late 18th century

Object Place: Probably Germany


Length 114 cm (44 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Boxwood, brass

Not On View


Musical Instruments



Contrabass in C. The lowest tone is BB-flat. Nine keys. Boxwood, stained light yellow: brass tips. Made in five parts: brass crook, wing, wing (or tenor) joint, butt, long joint, and a bell. The bore is conoidal up to the bell; the bore of the bell is an inverted conoid narrowing toward the orifice. Six finger-holes in the front; two thumb-holes in the rear. The instrument has been considerably changed: the long joint shortened and the key mechanism altered. The original instrument had but five keys: BB-flat, D, E-flat (now removed and the hole and the saddle socket plugged with wood), F, and G-hsharp. Subsequently, F-sharp, B-correction key, c-sharp, f-sharp, and a’ keys were added. The original keys are mounted on saddles; the new keys are ‘home made’ and mounted on wire loops. SATK, one SATW; Young type X (or V ), S and A.


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection