CDN, Toronto, Ontario
Royal Ontario Museum
No. of Strings:
R. S. Williams, Toronto, -1913; L’hôpital général de Québec, mid-19th-C.
TGM visit 1/07; museum to TGM 11/06; PT visit 10/78; Cselenyi 1971, p. 11
Cselenyi 1971, p. 11
Cselenyi 1971, p. 11 (front 7/8, head 7/8); [unpublished, from museum: front, front 3/4, head front, front 3/4 (color)]; [by TGM: FB+S, head FB+S (color)]
2-piece table with very even wood grain and single purfling, 1-piece slab-cut back with no purfling (now sunken along center joint). Original neck, female head, and La Fille-style pegbox; fingerboard also original (stained black), but tailpiece not (veneered black and too long). Mismatched pegs not original, likewise too-large bridge seen with viol. No corner blocks, back braces, or perimeter linings (except upper bass rib). Saw-tooth scraper marks on inner surfaces of ribs. Neck varnished, with extensive wear marks from player’s thumb; no frets when seen, but marks in varnish reveal their former presence. Drawing by Philip Davis (Toronto) in museum file. Per museum, this was among the viols discovered c. 1860 in a convent (l’hôpital général) in Quebec: cf. canadianencyclopedia.com, s.v. Collections d’instruments, which says they were probably hidden there during the siege of Quebec in 1759; ibid. s.v. Québec says the find included “une dizaine de violes ... fabriquées à Paris chez Nicolas Bertrand.” [ (©2006 ROM) shows photo, gives provenance, states “Maker: Nicolas Bertrand”, but only basis for this claim would be that statement.]