DHV:
1281
Tourin ID:

Size:

Bass

Label Text:

Place Made:

GB, London

Maker:

Barak

Norman

Date:

1691?

Barak Norman / At ye Basse = Violl in St Pauls Alley / London fecit / 1691

Body Shape:

Viol

Current Location:

USA, Kansas City, MO

Sound Holes:

C

Collection:

Private collection

No. of Strings:

6

Catalog Number:

Head:

Male

Previous Owner:

Earl of Radnor (Longford Castle, Salisbury); his ancestors (supposedly in the Bouvier family since new)

Measurements:

Body Length:

66

String Length:

69±

Rib Depth:

12

Upper Width:

29.7

Middle Width:

22

Bottom Width:

35.8

Information Source:

J. Pringle to TGM, 3/15; Hebbert 2001, p. 291 (1691:1)

Literature:

Photographs:

Recordings:

Auctions:

Comments:

Hebbert 2001, p. 291 (1691:1); BVMA 2000, p. 19

[Unpublished, from B. Hebbert via owner, 2/15: numerous details including head, ornaments, and label]; Christie’s 9/30/14, lot 222 (F, unstrung [color])

Christie’s 2014/09/30, lot 222 (not a musical instruments sale)

BVMA 2000: “a well-preserved bass viol [by Barak Norman] dated 1691 can be found at Longford Castle, Salisbury, where it has probably been kept since its commission.” Christie’s 9/30/14 (sale of “European Noble & Private Collections Including Fine Tapestries, Part I,” catalogue seen online): carved pegbox, length of back 65.5 cm; “thought to have been commissioned in 1691 by the Bouveries, a prominent family of silk merchants, and later Earls of Radnor. The viol has remained in the family ever since...”; photo reveals inlaid FB+TP; Type VI table ornament; back center Type III, upper Type IIIa, lower Type III. Hebbert report to buyer, 9/14: head probably carved by Norman himself, unlike later examples; neck is later (probably 4Q19C), and marquetry FB+TP were narrowed for cello conversion, then widened with ebony strips; considerable woodworm damage to table, but generally well patched and stable; ribs possibly not original, lacking inlays usually associated with kinds of ornamentation found here on table and back. Instrument discovered in 1980s at Wilton House (near Salisbury) by Tessa Murdoch (V+A) and mentioned by her husband David in Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London (v. 23/4, 1980); her claim that viol was always in same family was based on the case, which is not after all original (made by Withers, sold by Hill, probably c. 1880). Pringle: 3-piece table, double purfling there and on back; replacement neck grafted to original pegbox and head; top block original, bottom not; bass bar and linings also probably not; no crossbars on back. Much worm damage and cracking on belly, some also on back and ribs. Label date 1690 or 1699.