about 1840
Johann Stehle (1808 or 1809–1871)

Object Place: Vienna, Austria


Length 169.3 cm (66 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, brass

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Musical Instruments



Subcontrabass in C. The lowest tone is BBB-flat (high pitch). Nine keys. Maple, stained dark brown; brass extension tube [removed - see “Conservation History” below] and bell; brass tips. Made in eight parts: crook, crook extension pipe (both of brass), wing-joint, intermediate joint, butt, long joint (all these are of wood), brass extension tube [removed], and a bell. The bore is conoidal up to the end of the wooden long joint; the brass extension tube is cylindrical. Six finger-holes in the front, two thumb-holes in the rear. Nine cup-shaped keys mounted on pillars. The keys have the standard arrangement, except for the old style c-sharp key, which is mounted in the rear above the F-hole and is operated by the right-hnad thumb.


Stamped on ?: [eagle] / Stehle / formals / Kuss / Wien; Engraved on butt-joint ferrule: Kaiser K. Hof - Capellen / Instrument [foliage]


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