DHV:
598
Tourin ID:
METRO 09

Size:

Bass

Place Made:

Maker:

F

Paris

Nicolas

Bertrand

Date:

1720

Label Text:

Nicolas Bertrand / a Paris 1720 [handwritten]; also stamped BERTRAND at top of back

Body Shape:

Viol

Current Location:

USA

New York, NY

No. of Strings:

7

Collection:

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sound Holes:

C

Catalog Number:

89.4.1343

Head:

Female

Private Owner:

Previous Owner:

Mrs. J. Crosby Brown; L’hôpital général de Québec [mid-19th-C.]

Measurements:

Body Length:

70.8

String Length:

71.3

Rib Depth:

13.4

Upper Width:

34.2

Middle Width:

25.0

Bottom Width:

40.9

Information

Source:

PT visit 12/78

Literature:

Mace 2010, esp. pp. 78, 85-86, 111-16; Monical 1989a, p. 21; Monical 1979, p.17; Winternitz 1971, p. 68; Brown 1902, p. 64

Photographs:

On museum’s website (F+B, front 7/8, head side [color]); Monical 1989a, p. 21 (F+S); Monical 1979, pp. ii (head side), 16 (F+S); Winternitz 1971, p. 68 [not seen]; Brown 1902, facing p. 64 (front 7/8); [unpublished, from T. Mace : full views, label, and many details (color)]

Recordings:

Auctions:

Comments:

Monical 1979: unaltered except width and thickness of neck, and later fingerboard and tailpiece. 2-piece table and back. Old museum catalogue card states “purchased from William Snaith, Canada.” Among the viols discovered c. 1860 in a convent (l’hôpital général) in Quebec: cf. www.the canadianencyclopedia.com, s.v. Collections d’instruments, which says they were probably hidden there during the siege of Quebec in 1759. (Museum’s website adds: “sold in 1864 to a dealer in Montreal, William Snaith. He in turn sold it to Mary Elizabeth Brown in 1899.") Mace 2010: crudely adapted for cello stringing early on, but has original head, core of neck and fingerboard (narrowed, then widened, though not enough), and tailpiece (like FB, oak core with black hardwood veneer). Interior essentially untouched (except added guitar-style belly liners; elsewhere only parchment), length and angle of through-neck only slightly altered; varnish mostly very well preserved, though back and ribs have faded. Single BWB purfling on table, none on back; head attractive but not one of Bertrand’s best; pegbox completely plain except small flower on back; pegholes never bushed. Dimensions 70.6 (front), 33.6/24.5/40.5 (back), 13.5, 71.0-72.5 (also gives thicknesses).