Tenor viola da gamba

about 1600
Attributed to Richard Blunt (English, active about 1590–1610)

Object Place: London, England


Length 102.3 cm, width 32 cm (Length 40 1/4 in., width 12 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce, ebony

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Standard pattern. Flat back of maple, in two pieces with purfling. Ribs of maple. Belly of soft pine, slightly arched, with two C-holes. Neck of maple with peg-box and carved head of blind-folded woman at the top. Finger-board of maple, veneered with ebony; twenty German silver frets inserted in it. Hook-bar of maple, affixed to the bottom block by two turned pins with heads; tail-piece of maple veneered with ebony. Six strings with movable bridge (violoncello type). Internal construction (as found before restoration): back reinforced by two cross-bars and cross strip 8 cm. wide and 6 mm. thick; the bend line of back reinforced by rough linen strip; regular lining at the joint of ribs and belly, but the joint of ribs and back formed of rough linen strip glued to both; circular fillets in corners; the ends of both cross-bars supported by small brackets glued to the ribs and cross-bars. Bass-bar and sound-post. Dark reddish-brown varnish.


Printed repair label: JOHN A. GOULD & SONS / [Established 1889] / Violin Makers, Dealers and Repairers / BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS / [handwritten: Two new cross bars; six / new linings, and crack / stays inserted. JUNE 1936


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