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More detailed information about stringed instruments and the history of violin making.
Pochette (kit violin), approx. 1900
The kit violin or "Tanzmeistergeige" is an interesting piece of baroque musical culture, a small instrument that was designed to fit in a dancing master's pocket and is therefore called "pochette" in French. The pochette was frequently used by dancing masters, who teached at the 17th and 18th century courts all over Europe and needed an instrument that was always available to intone a melody on appropriate rhythms. Since the decline of court dance after the French Revolution, kit violins lost importance, and quality pieces of the 19th century are true rarities today. The "Tanzmeistergeige" offered here was built approx. 1900 in Munich and bears the original stamp "Rieger" on the button, but cannot be attributed to a particular workshop. The instrument is the unmistakable work of an experienced hand: The top was made of finely to widely grained spruce; it features flat archings and ribs as they are typical for violins, while the shape of the body reminds of the mediaeval instrument Rebec that is known to be a forerunner of the pochette. The one-piece back is crafted of beautifully flamed sycamore maple. Orange-brown colored oil varnish completes the tasteful appearance of the violin and determines its antique character with some fine Craquele. Our violin makers worked over this rare piece with utmost care and made it ready to play.
Length of back: 31,5 cm
Year: approx. 1900