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American bass viol

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One-piece back of slab-cut maple. Ribs of maple with faint medium curl. Later neck of maple with wide irregular curl. Original massive scroll with wide ears, made from two pieces of maple. Two-piece belly of wide-grain white pine (seam off-center). No purfling. Large-headed tuning pegs (one...

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Manuscript label: Made & Sold by / Benjamin Crehore at / Dorchester 1788


1902, likely included in an exhibition sponsored by Chickering & Sons, Horticultural Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. Before 1916, according to William H. Howe, formerly used at the Old South Church, Weymouth, Massachusetts. Early 1970s, purchased at auction, Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Harold Priest, Harvard, Massachusetts; 1976, sold by Priest to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 9, 1976)

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund


Object Place

Dorchester, Massachusetts, United States


Length 132 cm, width 54.6 cm (Length 51 15/16 in., width 21 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, pine, ebony


Musical Instruments


Musical instruments, Chordophones