DHV:
1006
Tourin ID:

Size:

Tenor

Place Made:

Maker:

GB

William

Bowelesse

Date:

1600 C

Label Text:

William Bowelesse

Body Shape:

Cello

Current Location:

A

Vienna

No. of Strings:

6

Collection:

Vázquez, José [heirs]

Sound Holes:

C

Catalog Number:

163

Head:

Female

Private Owner:

Yes

Previous Owner:

Anonymous, Winterthur (CH), 1992-2016; W.E. Hill & Sons, London, 1912-1991

Measurements:

Body Length:

52.2

String Length:

54.7

Rib Depth:

7.2

Upper Width:

23.4

Middle Width:

15.9

Bottom Width:

29.8

Information

Source:

Vázquez 1993, p. 11

Literature:

Herzog 2003, GB-3; Hebbert 2003a; Fleming 2001, 2:326; Vázquez 1993, p. 11; Phillips 3/19/92, lot 185

Photographs:

Vázquez website (front, F+B body only, head FB+S, top and 3/4, label [color]); Fleming & Bryan 2016, p. 67 (label); Fleming 2001: VME L93 (front 3/4 body only, back, head side [color]); Vázquez 1993, pl. 12-13 (F+B, head front 3/4 and side, bass C-hole and label [color]); Phillips 3/19/92, lot 185 (F+B, head side; latter also in color on cover)

Recordings:

Auctions:

Comments:

Phillips 1992/03/19, lot 185

Sharply pointed corners, square shoulders; flat back with fold. In 1993, on loan to José Vázquez, Vienna; no. 8 in his catalogue; owned as of 12/2016. Fleming 2001: “Many features of this instrument are unusual for viols known to be made in England 1580-1660,” including 2-piece table, single purfling of unusual design and material, atypical finial carving, back and ribs of unidentified wood. TGM: Body shape very similar to undated Pellegrino Micheli bass (BL 59.6 cm) on Isolabella, but that has F-holes. Label originally read and discussed as “Bowcleffe,” but quite clearly “Bowelesse,” perhaps a variant spelling of Mace’s “Bolles.” Hebbert 2003a, p. 72: label uses a pseudo-Elizabethan script; attributable to Hill workshop, perhaps replacing a genuine one from that period; maker perhaps related to William Borracleff, a wealthy merchant tailor who died in 1601. Hill papers (at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) report “Bought at sale at Wimbledon, 1 Feb. 1912”; also include 1937 letter from A.F. Hill to Ashmolean saying “We have a treble viol made by Boles ... and this must certainly come to you” (though it never did): could he have meant this instrument? Formerly on display in Stratford-upon-Avon: Vázquez says since early 20th C. at Shakespeare Theatre; J. Pringle says at New Place in late 1970s; M. Fleming says at Hall’s Croft (home of Shakespeare’s daughter), confirmed by a letter to the VdGS Bulletin (no. 23, p. 8) in 1965. Dendrochronology by Peter Ratcliffe gives 1411 for youngest growth ring on bass side, 1447 on treble, cross-matching with multiple instruments by Amati family, G. da Salo, and others.