Harvey Ball (American, 1818–about 1902)

Object Place: Nashua, New Hampshire, United States


Length 60.5 cm, width 20.5 cm (Length 23 13/16 in., width 8 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce, ebony

Not On View


Americas, Musical Instruments



Two-piece back of maple with medium curl descending from the joint. Ribs and neck similar. Two-piece belly of wide-to-medium grain spruce. Purfling of one strip each of dark and light wood. F-holes roughly finished. Flat slab of birch (?, probably later), 3 mm. thick, between neck and fingerboard. Tuning pegs, fingerboard, tailpiece, nut, saddle, and end button of ebony; the pegs and end button with mother-of-pearl dots. Yellow-brown varnish. Traditional interior construction except for flat neck block with chamfered corners, resting on platform carved from back (originally footed neck?).


Printed label: H. BALL, / Nashua, N. H., 1872.; in pencil on underside of belly: ... by H. A. ... [er] / 1889


1872, sold by artist to William Dustin, Londonderry, New Hampshire; sold by William Dustin to Henry Brown, his brother-in-law; possibly by descent to his nephew, Earl Day Brown (1892-1980); before 1987, possibly sold by Brown to Harold Priest, Damariscotta, Maine; 1987, sold by Priest to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 21, 1987)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Frank G. Webster