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Museums

The goal of Museums page is to document and index all the extant bass instruments holdings in museums and collections worldwide. The following records are designed to serve both as an inspiration to students and scholars in a pursuit of desired information, and to professional luthiers and collectors who may find here useful references on a particular instrument or a maker. The terminology used here should be familiar to all professional and collegiate users, yet for the applied bibliographic standards, please consult also the Instrument Citations & Abbreviations heading.

As a guide for inclusion in this listing the following two criteria were set as a standard. First, that the information on the content and location of instruments is public, and second, that the collection itself contains at least one instrument that may be defined as a bass instrument. The “bass instrument” definition implies here any double bass of any size, shape or purpose that is designated as such by a museum, and in any language that is equivalent to an English “double bass” term. Thus all museum entries classified as Contrabasso, Contrabbasso, Contrebasse, Contrabajo, Contrabaix, Contrabas, Kontrabas, Kontrabass, Kontrabaß, Violone (although certainly not all of them) were considered, together with sub species of Church basses and Bass Viols that approximate function, although not necessary always the size of a modern double bass. The same principle was applied to any bass bows located in museums.

Further inclusions cover also the variety of folk bass instruments attributed to double bass family by museums, although many of them by its size may appear much smaller. Lastly, electric basses, experimental basses, octobasses and other types of stringed bass instruments have also been included here under separate headings. Viola da Gambas and Bass Viola da Gambas are not included in this listing, although some of the larger examples of these instruments may be considered for future inclusion, pending on the next generation of research in the domain of bass instrument classification.

By exploring the links in this listing you will literally afford yourself a global tour of prominent museums that house the world heritage of double basses. Likewise, you may be mesmerized by the variety of designs, shapes and sizes of exhibited instruments, and it is probable that you may come to the similar conclusion that much of the work in the research and systematization of these unique instruments is yet to be undertaken. The purpose of this page is therefore to encourage such an investigation with a noble hope that the future generations may gain even better understanding of this valuable legacy.


Australia








Europe


Austria

Eisenstadt

Schloss Esterházy
Esterházyplatz 1
7000 Eisenstadt
Contact

•  Johann Josef Stadelmann, 1759 – Photo

Insbruck

Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum
Sammlung der Musikinstrumente
Museumstrasse 15
6020 Insbruck
Contact

•  Anonymous, Halbbass (Bassettl), Füssen, Mid. 17th Century, i.n. 85 – PagePhoto 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
•  Anonymous, “Löwenkopf”, n.p., ca. 1750, i.n. 211 – PagePhoto 1Photo 2Photo 3
•  Anonymous, “Mohrenkopf”, n.p., ca. 1700, i.n. 183 – PagePhoto 1Photo 2Photo 3
•  Paul Alletsee, Kleiner Kontrabass, München, 1733, i.n. 63 – Page Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
•  Simon Gföller, Halbbass (Bassettl), Schwaz, 1645, i.n. 162 – PagePhoto 1Photo 2Photo 3
•  Jacob Rauch, Innsbruck, 1713 , i.n. 272 – Page Photo 1 Photo 2Photo 3Photo 2 Photo 3
•  Michael Ignaz Stadlmann, Wien, 1798, i.n. 11 – PagePhoto
•  Jakob Stainer, Absam, 1645, i.n. 32 – Page Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3
•  Konrad Zunterer, Seefeld, 1775, i.n. 105 – PagePhoto 1Photo 2

Salzburg

Salzburg Musuem – Sammlung Historische Musikinstrumente
Studiengebäude Alpenstrasse
Alpenstraße 75
5020 Salzburg
Contact – Info on the main page

•  Andreas Ferdinand Mayr, Salzburg, 1722, i.n. MI 1084

Vienna

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien – Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente
Maria-Theresien-Platz
1010 Wien
Contact

•  Anton Posch, 1739 – Online Discussion

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde
Bösendorferstrasse 12
1010 Wien
Contact

Information on the Collection of Historical Instruments

•  Johann Christoph Leidolff, Wien, 1757 – Concert Program with instrument image

The Orpheon Foundation – Museum of Historical Musical Instruments
Praterstrasse 13/1/3
A-1020 Vienna, Austria
Contact

•  Anonymous, Violone in G, Milano School, 18th Century
•  Anonymous, Violone in D, Venetian, 17th Century
  Jan Uldaricus Eberle, Prague, 1750
  Johann Georg Thir, Vienna, 1750



Belarus

Minsk

Государственный Музей Истории Театральной и Музыкальной Культуры
220030, Минск, пер. Музыкальный, 5
Республика Беларусь
Contact

State Museum of Theatre and Music Culture
Minsk
Republic of Belarus

•  Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi, 1750 – Belarusian News Site Coverage



Belgium

Antwerpen

Museum Vleeshuis
Vleeshouwersstraat 38
2000 Antwerpen
Contact

•  Peter Borlon, Antwerpen, 1649, i.n. 67.1.149 – Online Report

Brussels

Musée des Instruments de Musique *
Muziekinstrumentenmuseum *
Musical Instruments Museum
Hofberg 2 Montagne de la Cour
B-1000 Brussels
Contact

* French and Dutch are the official languages of Brussels, thus you may find the museum name cited both ways in various bibliographies. Links lead directly to the sites in indicated languages.

Carmentis – Search

Basses

•  Anonymous, Violone, Italy, before 1886, i.n. 1436
•  Anonymous, Violone, Germany, before 1900, i.n. 1435
•  Anonymous, Central Europe, before 1969, i.n. JT0047
•  Anonymous, Netherlands, before 1883, i.n. 1377
•  Peeter Borbon I, Brussels, 1668, i.n. 3949MIMO
•  Benoît Joseph Boussu, Brussels, 1760, i.n. 2014.324Online Discussion
•  Ambroise Decomble, Tournai, 1750, i.n. 1376
•  Alphonse Giboreau, Liège, 1918, i.n. JT0048
•  Hans Krouchdaler, “Grande Basse-quinte de Viola da Braccio”, Oberbalm, ca. 1654, i.n. 1442
•  Giovanni Recaldini, Violone, Venice, ca. 1601-1650, i.n. 1378
•  Léo Sir, “Sous-Basse de Dixtuor”, Marmande, 1908-1920, i.n. 1981.042-06
•  Marcus Snoeck, Europe, 1736, i.n. 2881
•  Marcus Snoeck, Europe, 1741, i.n. 2880
•  Pietro Zenatto, “Grande Contrebasse”, Treviso, ca. 1683-1684, i.n. 1438-01
•  Pietro Zenatto, Violone, Treviso, ca. 1683, i.n. 1433
•  Pietro Zenatto, Violone, Treviso, ca. 1683, i.n. 1437

Bass Plates

•  Anonymous, Liège, before 1992, i.n. 1993.091-01
•  Anonymous, Liège, before 1992, i.n. 1993.091-02
•  Anonymous, Liège, before 1992, i.n. 1993.091-03
•  Auguste Termont, Ghent, 1859, Front Plate, i.n. 2900-01
•  Auguste Termont, Ghent, 1859, Back Plate [Incomplete], i.n. 2900-02

Bass Pegbox

•  Anonymous, Ghent, 1859, i.n. 2900-05

Bass Bows

•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., i.n. 1989.038
•  Anonymous, n.p., 1800-1900, i.n. JT0133
•  Anonymous, Europe, 1800-1900, i.n. JT0129
•  Anonymous, Europe, 1800-1900, i.n. JT0130
•  Anonymous, Europe, 1800-1900, i.n. JT0132
•  Anonymous, Europe, 1800-1900, i.n. 2902-13
•  Anonymous, France, ca. 1750-1850, i.n. 1462
•  Anonymous, France, ca. 1800-1850, i.n. E0158
•  Anonymous, German, ca. 1740-1780, i.n. 0505
•  Anonymous, German, ca. 1801-1850, i.n. 1478
•  Anonymous, German, ca. 1900-1910, i.n. JT0090
•  Anonymous, Mirecourt, ca. 1880-1925, i.n. JT0131
•  Karl Grimm, Berlin, 1815-1855, i.n. 3498

Accessories

  Tailpiece, Ghent, 1859, i.n. 2900-04

Etnic / Folk Bass Instruments

•  Gordună, Dumitru lederan, ca. 1990, i.n. 2001.075-01MIMO Int

Phoenix Collection

•  Anonymous, Mexico, n.d., i.n. MIM-PH-2012.278.2

[This instrument is apparently located in Phoenix Museum US, yet unclear why listed within the Brussels Museum collection]



France

Mirecourt

Musée de la Lutherie et de l’Archeterie
Cours Stanislas
88500 Mirecourt
Contact

Basses

•  Auguste Sébastien Bernardel, Paris, 1848, i.n. 1999.6.1
•  Paul Hilaire, Mirecourt, 1963, i.n. 1998.13.1
•  Antoine Marius Richelme, Marseille, 1893, i.n. 1995.13.1
•  Thibouville-Lamy, Mirecourt, 1st Half 20th Century, i.n. 2011.2.1

Bows

•  Louis Bazin, Mirecourt, n.d., i.n. 1992.5.4
•  Frères Morizot, Mirecourt, ca. 1960, i.n. 1973.10.2
•  Emile Auguste Ouchard, Gan, 1963, i.n. 1997.12.1
•  Jean-Claude Ouchard, Mirecourt, 1973, i.n. 2009.0.3
•  Pfretzschner (school), German, 1900-1999, i.n. 1972.6.1

Miniature Bass

•  Acoulon, Paris, 1911, i.n. 1998.15.1

[attributed to Charotte]

Nice

Musée du Palais LascarisWiki
La Collection d’instruments de Musique Anciens
15 rue Droite
06300 Nice
Contact
Curator – Robert Adelson

•  Carlo Giuseppe Testore, “Basse de Violon”, Milan, 1696, i.n. C.7 [Italian Violone]
•  Louis Allo, “Vespa”, Nice, ca. 1880, i.n. C.371

Paris

Musée de la MusiqueWiki
Philharmonie de Paris
221, avenue Jean-Jaurès
75019 Paris
Contact

Basses

•  Anonymous, n.p., 18th Century, i.n. E.01206
•  Anonymous, Three Strings [Guitar Shape], n.p., n.d., i.n. E.01208
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. E.01209
•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., i.n. E.01211
•  Anonymous, German, 19th Century, i.n. E.01212
•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., i.n. E.01213 
•  Anonymous, France, ca. 1920, i.n. D.MRF.36
•  Wilhelm Azan, Aix-en-Provence, 1605, [broken] i.n. E.979.2.63
•  François-Jacques Barbé, Dijon, n.d., i.n. E.01207
•  Nicolas Augustin Chappuy, n.p, 1769, i.n. E.01210
•  Benoît Fleury, Paris, 1767, i.n. E.979.2.45
•  Gand and Bernardel brothers, n.p., 1878, [broken] i.n. E.01214
•  François Gaviniès, Paris, 1757, i.n. E.979.8.1
•  Matteo Goffriller, Venice, 18th Century, i.n. E.656
•  Joseph Xavier Jacquet, Mirecourt, ca. 1850, i.n. E.980.2.683
•  Marc Laberte, Mirecourt, 1931, i.n. E.0266
•  Jacques Lafleur, End of the 18th Century, Paris, i.n. E.979.2.64
•  Nicolas Masson, “Contrebasse de Viole” – Reconstruction, Paris, 1932, i.n. E.980.2.496
•  Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, 17th Century, i.n. D.988.9.2
•  Victor Quenoil, Paris, 1957, i.n. E.997.11.1
•  Carlo Giuseppe Testore, Milan, 1696, i.n. E.983.1.5
•  Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.464Online Discussion
•  Pellegrino di Zanetto, “Contrebasse de Viole”, Brescia, ca. 1550, i.n. E.408

Bows

•  Anonymous, “Archet de Contrebasse de Viole”, France, 18th Century, i.n. E.699
•  Anonymous, “Archet de Contrebasse de Viole”, France, 18th Century, i.n. E.980.2.186
•  Anonymous, “Archet de Contrebasse de Viole”, Europe, 18th Century, i.n. E.980.2.231
•  Anonymous, “Archet de Contrebasse de Viole”, France, 20th Century (?), i.n. E.980.2.232
•  Anonymous, France, 18th Century, i.n. E.0153
•  Anonymous, France, 18th Century, i.n. E.980.2.236
•  Anonymous, France, End of the 18th Century, i.n. E.980.2.235
•  Anonymous, Europe, Beginning of the 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.243
•  Anonymous, Europe, 19th Century, i.n. E.0483
•  Anonymous, Europe, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.616
•  Anonymous, Europe, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.621
•  Anonymous, France, 19th Century, i.n. E.2028.15
•  Anonymous, France, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.240
•  Anonymous, Paris, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.237
•  Anonymous, Paris, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.238
•  Anonymous, Paris, 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.623
•  Anonymous, Mirecourt, 20th Century, i.n. 659
•  Anonymous, France, 20th Century, i.n. E.980.2.239
•  Anonymous, France, 20th Century, i.n. E.980.2.242
•  Félix Albert Caressa, Paris, Beginning og the 20th Century, i.n. E.983.1.15
•  John Dodd, London, ca. 1830-1835, i.n. E.997.29.9
•  Albert Paquotte, Paris, End of the 19th Century, i.n. E.980.2.241
•  François Xavier Tourte, ca. 1825, Paris, i.n. E.2000.15.1

Processional Instruments

•  Anonymous, Germany, 17th Century, i.n. E.01270

Octobass

•  Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, ca. 1850, i.n. E.409

Other Bass Instruments

•  Banjo Contrebasse, n.p., n.d., i.n. E.1021



Germany

Berlin

Musikinstrumenten-Museum Berlin
Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung
Tiergartenstraße 1
10785 Berlin
am Kulturforum
ContactPersonnel

•  Anonymous, Mittenwald-Oberbayern, ca. 1800, i.n. 5819 – Photo
•  Ernst Busch, Nürnberg, ca. 1600-1650, i.n. 229Photo
•  Pietro Antonio dalla Costa, Treviso, 1757, i.n. 1341 – Photo
•  Jean-Joseph-Honoré Derazey, Mirecourt, ca. 1845-1855, i.n. 5534 – Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5 Photo 6
•  Andreas Jaiss, “Löwenkopf”, n.p.,1730, i.n. 1410 – Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5
•  Hans Krouchdaler, Große Bassgeige, n.p., 1689, i.n. 5181 – Photo 1 Photo 2
•  Johann Joseph Stadlmann, Wien, ca. 1750-1760, i.n. 5193Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4
•  Hans Christoph Zänker, Hermsdorf unterm Kynast, ca. 1695-1705, i.n. 3341Photo 1 Photo 1Photo 2 Photo 3

Eglofs

Museum in Eglofs – Musik im Allgäu und in Oberschwaben
Dorfplatz 3
88260 Argenbühl
Contact        

•  Double Bass 1840-60s with the period bow as a part of the Church Music Instrument Collection – Source Page Pdf p.5

Leipzig

Grassi Museum für Musikinstrumente der Universität Leipzig
Johannisplatz 5–11
04103 Leipzig
Contact

Collection Info

Basses

•  Anonymous, Brescian School, 17th Century, i.n. 941Online Discussion
•  Anonymous, European, Kleiner Streichbass, n.p., n.d., i.n. 3684
•  Anonymous, European, n.p., n.d., i.n. 3685
•  Anonymous, European, 18th Century, i.n. 4290
•  Anonymous, European, ca. 1860-1910, i.n. 3130
•  Anonymous, European, 19th Century, i.n. 3131
•  Anonymous, European, ca. 1945-1955, i.n. 4888
•  Anonymous, Freiberger Dom Nr. 10, Oreg. 16th C., Modern Copy 2004, i.n. 5408
•  Anonymous, Freiberger Dom Nr. 24, Oreg. 16th C., Modern Copy 2004, i.n. 5409
•  Anonymous, German, 1823, i.n. 5623
•  Anonymous, Kleiner Kontrabass, Lombardy, 17th Century, i.n. 944 [broken]
•  Anonymous, Kleiner Kontrabass, Kloster Rolduc, 18th Century, i.n. 948
•  Anonymous, Kleiner Kontrabass, n.p., 17th-18 th Century, i.n. 949
•  Anonymous, Kroatischer Kontrabass, n.p., 19th Century, i.n. 951
•  Anonymous, Tyrol, 18th Century, i.n. 947
•  J. A. Baader & Co., Mittenwald, 1889, i.n. 4314
•  Johann Nikolaus Artmann, Kleiner Kontrabass, Wechmar, 1830, i.n. 5513
•  Lorenzo Carcass, Florence, 1761, (1695-1705) i.n. 943
•  Govanni Battista Dini, Lucignano, 1707, i.n. 942
•  Rudolf Elger, “Violone”, Leipzig, n.d., i.n. 3289
•  Schuster & Co., Markneukirchen, ca. 1895/1905, i.n. 4575
•  Gottfried Tielke, Königsberg, 1662, i.n. 940
•  Wilhelm Jacob Tresselt, Großbreitenbach, 1798, i.n. 946 [broken]
•  Große Bassgambe, Marcus Vasi, Italy, (1735-1745), i.n. 825
•  Hans Zölch, Markneukirchen, n.d., i.n. 3348

Incomplete Instruments

•  Anonymous, Neck and Scroll, South German, 18th Century, i.n. 950

Historical Bass Reconstructions

•  Große Bassviole after Jost Amman’s graphic “Drey Geiger”, before 1912, [parts], i.n. 774

[ Luthier unknown, further info at the link above ]

Other Bass Instruments

•  Kontrabass-Balalaika, n.p., (1945-1955), i.n. 5512


Markneukirchen

Musikinstrumenten-Museum Markneukirchen
Bienengarten 2
08258 Markneukirchen
Contact

Collection apparently has some 6 bass instruments on display – Photo 1Photo 2

•  “Der große Kontrabass”Source Page – Middle Paragraph

Munich

Deutsches Museum
Museumsinsel 1
80538 Munich
Contact

Musical Instruments Exhibition

  Franz Zacher, n.p., 1690, i.n. 18098 – Book Source Online

Nürnberg

Germanisches Nationalmuseum – Musikinstrumenten Sammlung
Kartäusergasse 1
90402 Nürnberg
ContactPersonnel

Basses

•  Anonymous – Dreisaitiger Streichbaß, ca. 1800, Markneukirchen, i.n. MI527
•  Anonymous – Halbbaß, 2nd half 18th Century, i.n. MIR1702
•  Anonymous – Halbbaß, Süd-Deutschland, 1795, i.n. MIR845
•  Anonymous – Halbbaß, Süd-Deutschland, 18th-19th Century, i.n. MIR846
•  Anonymous – Halbbaß, Böhmen, n.d., i.n. MIR847
•  Franz Straub – Dreisaitiger Streichbaß, n.p., 1684, i.n. MI420
•  Georg Tieffenbrunner, Munich, ca. 1850, i.n. MI464
•  Martin Leopold Widhalm, Halbbaß, n.p., 1790, i.n. MIR844

Bows

•  Streichbogen, n.p., ca. 1700, i.n. MIR966
•  Streichbogen, n.p., ca. 1700, i.n. MIR971
•  Strecihbogen, n.p., n.d., MIR981
•  Streichbogen, n.p., n.d., i.n. MIR972

Accessories

•  Bass Bridge, 18th Century, i.n. MI509_C
•  Neck & Scroll, 18th Century, i.n. MIR829_A

Miniature Bass

•  Miniatur eines Kontrabasses, 19th Century, i.n. MIR1464

Historical Double Bass Photographs

•  Sammlung Schreinzer, Wien, 20th Century, i.n. MI403_10
•  Sammlung Schreinzer, Wien, 20th Century, i.n. MI403_11

Regensburg

Historisches Museum
Dachauplatz 2-4
93047 Regensburg
Contact

•  Johann Stephan Thumphard, Straubing, 1800, i.n. K 1976 116

Cited in: Historisches Museum der Stadt Regensburg – Kurzinventar der Musikinstrumente (Stand: Oktober 2009) Pdf, p. 2

Stuttgard

Landesmuseum Württemberg – Musikinstrumente Sammlung
Altes Schloss
Schillerplatz 6
70173 Stuttgart
Contact – Info on the main page

•  Unindentified bass – Exhibited along other string instruments – Photo



Hungary

Budapest

Museum of EthnographyWiki
Kossuth Lajos tér 12.
1055 Budapest
Contact

•  Gardon, 3 string folk bass instrument – Online Discussion



Italy

Bologna

Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica
Strada Maggiore, 34
40125 Bologna
Contact – Info on the main page

•  Giovanni Floriano Guidanti, Contrabbasso, Bologna, primo terzo, sec. XVIII i.n. 3394

Brescia

Musei Civici di Arte e Storia
Via Musei, 81 – 25121 Brescia
Contact

Current Exibition – Palazzo Logia

•  Anonymous, c.a. 1580-1620, Brescia – Link InfoPdf. Document p. 3
•  Giovanni Paolo Maggini, c.a. 1610-1620, Brescia – Link InfoPdf. Document p. 4
•  Giovanni Paolo Maggini, c.a. 1600-1620, Brescia – Link InfoPdf. Document p. 5

2008 ExhibitionArchived Page featuring InstrumentsVideo

Cremona

Museo del Violino
Palazzo dell’Arte
Piazza Marconi 5 – 26100 Cremona
Contact

•  Nicola Bergonzi, Cremona, 1777 – Citation Page

Florence

Galleria dell’Accademia – Collezione del Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini
Polo Museale Fiorentino
Via Ricasoli 58-60
50122 Firenze
ContactPersonnel

Basses

•  Anonymous, Italy, Mid. 18th Century, i.n. 1988/045
•  Giuseppe Bracci, Livorno, 1823, i.n. 1988/044
•  Bartolomeo Castellani, Florence, 1792, i.n. 1988/043
•  Bartolomeo Cristofori, Florence, 1715, i.n. 1988/041
•  Luigi Piattellini, Florence, 1791, i.n. 1988/042

Bows

•  Anonymous, n.p., 18th Century, i.n. 1988/066
•  Anonymous, n.p., Sec. Half 18th Century, i.n. 1988/067 – formerly owned by Gustavo Campostrini (1851-1904)
•  Anonymous, n.p., Sec. Half 18th Century, “alla Dragonetti”, i.n. 1988/068 – formerly owned by Gustavo Campostrini (1851-1904)
•  Anonymous, n.p., Sec. Half 18th Century, i.n. 1988/069 – formerly owned by Gustavo Campostrini (1851-1904)
•  Anonymous, n.p., “alla Dragonetti”, the end of 18th Century, i.n. 1988/065
•  Anonymous, n.p., the end of 18th Century, i.n. 1988/072
•  Bazin, Mirecourt, 18th Century, i.n. 1988/071
•  Bazin, Mirecourt, 19th Century, i.n. 1988/070
•  Giovanni Battista Gabbrielli, “alla Dragonetti”, 18th Century, i.n. 1988/064

Milano

Museo Degli Strumenti Musicali – Castello Sforzesco
Piazza Castello
20121 Milano
Contact

Instrument search option unavailable

At least 4 double basses visible in the following picture – Wiki Image

Rome

MUSA. Museo degli Strumenti Musicali
Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Auditorium Parco della Musica
viale de Coubertin
00196 Roma
Contact

The search “Contrabbasso” in Catalogo Online will display following entries.

Unfortunately, no interface for direct links could be located.

Basses

•  Anonymous, n.p., 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 135

Bows

•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 143.1
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 143.2
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 143.3
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 143.4
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 143.5
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 144.1
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 144.3
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 144.4
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 144.5
•  Anonymous, n.p., End of the 18th Century, i.n. MS2006 n. 144.6

Bass Tailpiece

•  Codiera, n.p., n.d., i.n. MS2006 n. 114

Salò

Museo di Salò
Centro culturale Santa Giustina
Via Brunati, 9 – 25087
Contact

•  Gasparo da Salò, “Biondo, già Colonna”ca. 1590

Text (4th Paragraph, in Italian) – Image 1Image 2

Siena

Il Museo Degli Strumenti Musicali
Accademia Musicale Chigiana
Via di Città 89
Siena 53100
Contact

•  Unknown Double Bass – Museum Image

Venice

Museo di San Marco
San Marco 328
30124 Venezia
Contact

•  Gasparo da Salò, 1590 – the famous instrument owned by Dragonetti

Museo di San Marco – Instrument Information
Museo di San Marco – Location
– check “Rites and Melodies” link
Sergio Scarameli – Gasparo da Salò restoration
Sanmarcopress – Dragonetti Page

Mueso de la Musica di Venezia
Chiesa San Maurizio, S. Marco 2603
30124 Venezia
Contact

Collezione Artemio Versari
Chiesa di San Maurizio
Collection Presentation – Video

Basses

•  Nicolò Amati, 1670 – PhotoOnline Discussion
•  Michelangelo Bergonzi, 1776 – Photo 1Photo 2Belonged to Italian bassist and composer Annibale Mengoli
•  Giuseppe Marconcini 1794 – Photo
•  One possible bass not identified – a smaller instrument on the left on diplay in Chiesa di San Maurizio Photo 1Photo 2

Piccolo Museo della Pietà ‘Antonio Vivaldi’
Castello 3701
Calle della Pietà
30122 Venezia
Contact

•  Pietro Caspan, n.p., 1665, i.n. NA

Cited in Selfridge-Field, Eleanor. “The Pieta Museum Venice.” Early Music. Volume 33, Number 1, February 2005, p. 154 – Review Link

Conservatorio “Benedetto Marcello” – Museo Degli Strumenti
Palazzo Pisani
Sestiere di S. Marco
2810
30124 Venezia
Contact

Museum Collection Search Page – “Search for Lists” tab – “Musical Instruments” – “Contrabbasso”

Basses

•  Dominicus Busan, Venezia, 1781, i.n. 282.

Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4 – Photo 5Photo 6Photoe 7Photo 8 – Photo 9Photo 10Photo 11Photo 12Photo 13Photo 14Photo 15Photo 16 – Photo 17

•  Giovanni Dodi, Modena, 1853, i.n. 629.

Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5Photo 6Photo 7Photo 8Photo 9Photo 10Photo 11
Photo 12Photo 13Photo 14Photo 15Photo 16Photo 17 Photo 18

•  Matteo Goffriller, Venezia, 17–, i.n. 627.

Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4Photo 5Photo 6Photo 7Photo 8Photo 9Photo 10Photo 11Photo 12Photo 13Photo 14

•  Lorenzo Storioni, Cremona, 1783, i.n. 628.

Photo 1

•  Carlo Giuseppe Testore, n.p., n.d., i.n. 636.

Photo 1Photo 2Photo 3Photo 4



Spain

Barcelona

Museu de la Música de Barcelona
L’Auditori. C
Lepant, 150
08013 Barcelona
Contact – Info on the main page

Individual page records from Museu de la Musica not available – use keyword “Contrabaix” for search in Museum Catalogue . Featured records were located at MIMO International

Basses

•  Anonymous, 19th Century, i.n. MDMB 1473
•  Anonymous, 20th Century, i.n. MDMB 11214
•  Giuseppe Baldantoni, 1839, i.n. MDMB 1037
•  Francisco Manuel Fleta, “Violone”, Barcelona, 1940, i.n. MDMB 1275



Sweden

Stockholm

Scenkonst Museet – Swedish Museum of Performing Arts
Torsgatan 21
Stockholm
Contact

Postal Address
P.O. Box 16326
SE-103 26 Stockholm

Basses

•  Anonymous, n.p., after 1900, i.n. M1975 .
•  Anonymous, n.p., before 1901, i.n. M190 .
•  Anonymous, n.p., before 1800, i.n. M414 .
•  Jonas Elg, Stockholm, 1718, i.n. N134708 .
•  Carleen Hutchins, “Small Bass Violin”, Clair, NJ, 1980, i.n. M3580 .
•  Carleen Hutchins, “Kontrabass Nr. 174”, n.p., 1980, i.n. M3581 .
•  L M E Lilljeqvist, n.p., 1840, i.n. N114022 .
•  Mathias Petter Kraft, n.p., 1780-1807, i.n. M2437 .



United Kingdom

Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh – Musical Instruments Museums  — Search Page
St. Cecilia’s Hall
Niddry Street
Cowgate
Edinburgh
EH1 1NQ
Contact

Basses

•  Anonymous, Three Stringer, 19th Century, a.n. 4133
•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., a.n. 352 [incomplete]
•  Carleen Hutchins, Tenor Double Bass, “Sus No. 170”, Montclair/NJ, 1974, a.n. 2797
•  Carleen Hutchins, Contrabass violin, Montclair/NJ, 1963-1964, a.n. 2798
•  Léopold Widhalm, Nürnberg, 1753, a.n. 1104

Bows

•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., a.n. 5915
•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., a.n. 771
•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., a.n. NA
•  Anonymous, n.p., 19th Century, a.n. 1454
•  Anonymous, n.p., 2nd Half 19th Century, a.n. 771
•  Anonymous, n.p., Late 19th Century, a.n. 342
•  Anonymous, n.p., Late 19th – Early 20th Century, a.n. 1101
•  Anonymous, n.p., 20th Century, a.n. 2478
•  Collins, n.p., 19th Century, a.n. 343

•  W. Tarr, Mancherster, NH, USA, Mid 19th Century, a.n. 1847
•  Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy, Mirecourt, 1st Half 20th Century, a.n. 1100

Bow Parts

•  Frog, n.p. 19th Century, a.n. 1069-C2-xxvii

Accessories

•  Endpin, n.p., n.d., a.n. 1615
•  Mute, n.p., n.d., a.n. 471
•  Mute, n.p., Late 19th Century, a.n. 467
•  Mute, n.p., Late 19th Century, a.n. 469
•  Mute, n.p., Late 19th Century, a.n. 470
•  Tailpiece, n.p., 19th Century, a.n. 3336  [photo of a bow?]
•  Tailpiece, n.p., n.d., a.n. 3457
•  Tailpiece, n.p., n.d., a.n. 4439

London

Royal Academy of Music – Museum & Collections
Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5HT
Contact

Basses

•  Anonymous, Italian, ca. 1800, a.n. 2002.762
•  Anonymous, German, 1890, a.n. 2002.764
•  Anonymous, “Saxon”, 1930, a.n. 2002.766
•  Bernard S. Fendt II, England, 1834, a.n. 2002.957
•  Golden Strad [brand], n.p., ca. 1970. a.n. 2002.765
•  Haley, n.p., 1989, a.n. 2002.774
•  Stefan Krattenmacher, Germany, 2015, a.n. 2015.294
•  Neuner and Honsteiner, n.p., ca.1880, a.n.
•  Kai Roth, Copy of D. Montagana Venice, 2006, a.n. 2012.579
•  Kai Roth, England, 2006, a.n. 2012.580
•  Peter Wamsley, (Barak Norman school), n.p., ca. 1730, a.n. 2002.771

Bows

•  Matthew Coltman, “Violone bow”, 2000, a.n. 2002.972
•  Matthew Coltman, “Baroque Bass Violone bow”, n.d., a.n. 2002.972
•  Matthew Coltman, “Baroque Bass Violone bow”, n.d., a.n. 2012.635
•  Paesold, German, n.d., a.n. 2013.20
•  Brian Tunnicliffe, “Baroque Double Bass Bow” (Vivaldi Project), n.p., 2006, a.n. 2012.578

Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
Contact

Basses

•  Anonymous, “Giant”, Italy, ca.1680, m.n. 487&A-1872 – formerly owned by Dragonetti and Duke of Lanister

Bass Viols

•  Richard Meares, London, 1677, m.n. 170-1882

Snowshill

Snowshill Manor – Musical Instruments CollectionWIKI
Snowshill
near Broadway
Gloucestershire, WR12 7JU
Contact

Basses

•  William Tarr, Manchester, ca. 1850, i.n. NT 1335359Further Info

Bows

•  Anonymous, n.p., n.d., i.n. NT 1335420 Further Info



North America


Canada


Ontario – ON

Toronto

Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto
100 Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 2C6
Contact

R.S. Williams’ Collection of Historic Musical Instruments

Basses

•  Gasparo di Salo, Italy, 1600, a.n. NA – attributed to Dragonetti, later owned by Duke of Lanister

Further Info 1
Further Info 2
Further Info 3


United States of America



Arizona

Phoenix

Musical Instrument Museum
4725 E. Mayo Boulevard
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Contact

Basses

•  Anonymous, Mexico, n.d., i.n. MIM-PH-2012.278.2 – cited in Brussels Museum Online Catalog (?)
•  A Double Bass made from a metal calcium carbide container and bolts, with a fingerboard and scroll salvaged from a bass smashed in a car wreck – Source Page

Octobass

•  Copy of Vuillaume’s OctobassArticle



Connecticut

New Haven

Yale Collection of Musical Instruments
15 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT

Postal Address
P.O. Box 208278
New Haven, CT 06520-8278

Contact

Church Basses

•  Abraham Prescott Jr., Deerfield, NH, ca. 1820, a.n. 4817
•  J. Wait, American, 1829, a.n. 4823

Bass Bows

•  George F. Schwartz, Strasbourg, ca.1825, a.n. 5018



Massachusetts

Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Contact

Basses

Anonymous, England, 19th Century, a.n. 17.1732a
Abraham Prescott, Deerfield, NH, 1823, a.n. 1987.22

Bows

•  Anonymous, England, Late 18th Century, a.n. 1974.31
•  Anonymous, England, 19th Century, a.n. 17.1732b
•  Anonymous, United States, 19th Century, a.n. 1991.1176
•  Anonymous, United States, 1800-1850, a.n. 1987.27
•  Anonymous, United States, 1820-1840, a.n. 2011.1981

American Bass Viols

•  Anonymous, United States, 1800-25, a.n. 1982.475
•  Anonymous, United States, 19th Century, a.n. 1987.21
•  Benjamin Crehore, Dorchester, MA, 1788, a.n. 1976.147
•  Benjamin Crehore, Milton, MA, about 1800, a.n. 1976.156
•  Benjamin Crehore, Milton, MA, about 1800, a.n. 1983.148
•  Benjamin Crehore, Milton, MA, about 1800, a.n. 1984.79
•  William Green, Medway, MA, 1807, a.n. 2009.2222
•  Abraham Prescott, Deerfield, NH, 1825-30, a.n. 65.2687
•  Abraham Prescott, Concord, NH, 1833-45, a.n. 1987.16
•  Benjamin Whittemore Willard, Lancaster, MA, 1810, a.n. 1987.15

American Bass Viol Bridges

•  Anonymous, United States, Early 19th Century, a.n. 1982.6

Bass Guitars

•  Pedro Reyes, Mexico, 2103, a.n. 2013.1659 



Michigan

Ann Arbor

Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, University of Michigan
Earl V. Moore School of Music Building
The University of Michigan (North Campus)
1100 Baits Drive (Off Broadway Street)
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Contact 1Contact 2

Basses

•  Anonymous, Madeira, 19th Century, i.n. 1318
•  Anonymous, “HalbBass”, Germany/Austria, 19th Century, i.n. 1317

Basseto

•  Andreas Kembler, “Violoncello/Bassetto”, Dillingen, 1772, i.n. 1315

Other Bass Instruments

•  Trumpet Marine, Germany, 19th Century, i.n. 1272
•  Trumpet Marine, Italy, 18th Century, i.n. 1273



New York

New York City

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028-0198
Contact

Basses

•  Bartolomeo Cristofori, Florence, 18th Century, a.n. 1980.112 * [former attribution]
•  Johann Ulrich Eberle, Prague, 1734, a.n. 1983.130
•  Carleen M. Hutchins, Contrabass Violin, 1985, a.n. 1988.424.7
•  Plumerel, Mirecourt, 18th Century, a.n. 89.4.941 a, b
•  Abraham Prescott, Deerfield, NH, ca. 1820, a.n. 1980.492

Bows

•  Anonymous, United States, Mid-19th Century, a.n. 1983.129
•  Anonymous, German, ca. 1850-1900, a.n. 1982.482
•  Anonymous, German, ca. 1925, a.n. 53.56.6
•  Anonymous, n.p., Mid-20th Century, a.n. 1983.118

Bass Viols & Church Basses

•  William Green, Medway, MA, 1807, a.n. 1982.101
•  William Darracott, Jr., Milford, NH, 1861, a.n. 1979.204
•  Abraham Prescott, Concord, NH, ca. 1831-50, a.n. 1990.218.3

Electric Basses

•  Jens Ritter, 2011, Deidesheim, a.n. 2012.103.1, .2

Other Bass Instruments

•  Bass Balalaika, Russia. Early 20th Century, a.n. 89.4.3357
•  Bass Mandora
, Italy, ca. 1700–1799, a.n. 89.4.2923

•  Tamburica Berda
, New York, NY, Early 20th Century, a.n. 1992.277

Experimental Instruments

•  Kenneth Lee Butler, “Paddle / Bow Bass”, New York, NY, 1981-86, a.n. 1996.57



Ohio

Oberlin

Frederick R. Selch Collection of American Music History – Musical Instruments Collection
Oberlin College & Conservatory
Bertram and Judith Kohl Building
101 North Professor Street
Oberlin, Ohio 44074

Collection Info
Curator – Dr. James O’Leary

Selch Collection contains some 60 Bass Viols and 5 Double Basses – Direct Video Link [5:06] narrated by Mrs. Selch herself.

Photo of the original storage space for basses at the Selch family New York City home

•  At the present time “The Collection’s nearly 700 musical instruments will be available for study once the inventorying, currently underway, is complete.” – Info Link Heading:Series 5: Musical Instruments”

Norwalk

Firelands MuseumWiki Info
4 Case Ave
44857 Norwalk, OH
Contact – Info on the main page

Basses

•  J.B. Allen Co., Springfield, MA, 1842, i.n. NA – Online Discussion 1Online Discussion 2

Bass Bows

•  Unidentified, Associated with the bass described above



South Dakota

Vermillion

National Music Museum, The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
ContactPersonnel

Viols

•  Contrabass Viola da Gamba, attributed to Gasparo da Salo, Brescia, before 1609, i.n. NMM 3431
•  Contrabass Viola da Gamba, attributed to Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, before 1630, i.n. NMM 3432
•  Bass Viola da Gamba, Johannes Florenus Guidantus, Bologna, 1728, i.n. NMM 3352

Other Bass Instruments

•  Electric Upright Bass Guitar, Gibson, Inc., Kalamazoo, ca. 1938, i.n. NMM 10474.
•  Mando-Bass, Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company, Kalamazoo, ca. 1923-1924, i.n. NMM 5910. 



Australia


Australia

Sidney

Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street
Ultimo, NSW, 2007
ContactSearch OPAC

Basses

•  Anonymous, Germany, 1890-1910, r.n. 88/463
•  John Devereux, Melbourne, ca. 1856, r.n. 2007/97/1
•  Herbert Edwin Lansdown, Lismore, 1927, r.n. 2004/6/1

Bows

•  Anonymous, “Dragonetti style head”, n.p., 20th Century, r.n. H9312
•  Anonymous, Germany, 1950-1970, r.n. 88/465
•  Archibald Hill, Ballarat, ca. 1905-1915, r.n. 2009/3/5
•  Lennox Holt, Brisbane, ca. 1975 – 1990, r.n. 2009/3/6
•  Robert Proctor, Perth, probably 1980-1990, r.n. 2009/3/4

Bass Luthiere Tools

•  Belonged to Chic Denny, Sydney, New South Wales, n.p., n.d., r.n. 2005/123/1

Theater Prop Item

•  “Double bass”, theatrical prop, polystyrene/fibreglass, designed by Eamon D’Arcy, r.n. 2001/84/40

[Used during the Opening Ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games 2000]



Instrument Citations & Abbreviations

A specific format of instrument citations and abbreviations used in this listing is explained here. Each instrument citation starts with the name of luthier that follows the pattern of First- Middle-Last name, where the last name is printed in Bold and serves as an alphabetical reference. The citation string continues with the Place of manufacture, the Date of manufacture and ends with the Inventory Number associated with the particular museum.

For example:

  • Joe Able Doe, London, 1888, i.n. 123-456

However, given that many instruments lack some or all of the common data designators, a substitute for them has been arranged in the following format:

  • Luthier – For missing attribution of a Luthier a common Anonymous will be cited and such citation will be placed on the top of the list regardless of the date of manufacture.
  • Place – For missing attribution of place you will find a substitute of either a country or a simple “n.p.” acronym that stands for No Place.
  • Date – For missing date or an estimation of a date, an acronym of “n.d.” will be placed indicating No Date.
  • Inventory Number – most citations will contain the Inventory Number – “i.n.”, although some museums may use a different designator such as Accession Number – “a.n”, Museum Number – “m.n.” or a Registration Number – “r.n.” Where the inventory number is missing you will find “NA” that stands for Not Available

Otherwise all citations follow the data exactly as presented by a particular museum or a person that has provided the attribution data for them.



Organizations & Societies

International Organizations

CIMCIM – The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Musical Instruments

An international organization that defines professional standards for documentation, presentation and conservation of musical instruments in museums and collections. Its French acronym stands for Comité International des Musées et Collections d’Instruments et de Musique – in English: The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Musical Instruments. CIMCIM itself is a part of the ICOM – International Council of Museums , which is a unique global museum organization dedicated to promotion and preservation of world cultural heritage. Through the scope of its activities CIMCIM directly influences a world heritage of bass instruments as well.

AMIS – The American Musical Instrument Society

A description from the Society’s front page illustrates the scope of AMIS activity the best: “An international organization founded in 1971 to promote better understanding of all aspects of the history, design, construction, restoration, and usage of musical instruments in all cultures and from all periods.”



Databases

MIMO – Musical Instrument Museums Online

MIMO is an organization that represents a consortium of musical instrument museums, and along offers a world biggest online database of musical instruments in the form of two online catalogs. The MIMO Professional, designed for professional catalogers use, and the MIMO International, designed for general public with comfortable and engaging visual interface. In terms of content coverage both databases present the same data. Currently, some 10 museums that own double basses and other types of period string bass instruments have been located in MIMO online catalogs. All of their bass instruments you will find indexed directly under the name of each museum.

Europeana Collections

Europeana is a general aggregator of digital content form a multitude of European museums, libraries, archives and multi-media collections that also feature musical instruments. The search undertaken for the purpose of assembling this page has however revealed that Europeana only transfers the MIMO holdings, while it does not offer any other source of citations for double bass instruments. Thus it may be easier to browse MIMO International should one wish to focus only on musical instruments search.


Museums of Musical Instruments Individual Databases

Aside from MIMO and Europeana, many museums offer their own individual databases that may or may not overlap with MIMO’s own database. In some instances, and where available, you will find links to those online catalogs cited directly by the name of a particular museum.



Page Development

Searched:

Musical Instruments Databases

Search: Contrebasse | 185 entries as of December 6, 2015 – includes also bass bows in French museums and wind brass instruments
Search: Double bass | 146 entries as of December 6, 2015 – includes also ethnic / folk bass instruments, bass accessories, bass bows as well as bass drums.
Search: Double basses | 146 entries as of December 6, 2015 – almost identical selection as above
Search: Double bass viol | 4 entries as of December 6, 2015
Search: Kontrabas | 118 entries as of December 6, 2015 – includes some wind brass instruments
Search: Kontrabass | 110 entries as of December 6, 2015 – similar entries as in “Double bass” search, yet with some different items as well
Search: Violone Grosso | 16 entries as of December 6, 2015

Search: Contrebasse | 186 entries as of December 6, 2015
Search: Double bass | 193 entries as of December 6, 2015
Search: Kontrabass | 110 entries as of December 6, 2015
Search: Violone | 18 entries as of December 6, 2015

Museum Databases

Search: Contrebasse | 69 items as of December 11, 2015 ( not all entries are related to string basses)
Search: Contrebasse de Viole | 6 entries as of December 11, 2015
Search: Double Bass | 23 entries as of December 11, 2015

 

French Interface *

Search: Contrebasse | 49 entries as of December 16, 2015 – not all related to string basses, also including bows
Search: Contrabas | 1 entry as of December 16, 2015

Dutch Interface *

Search: Contrabas | 33 entries as of December 16, 2015 – seems to yield some instruments not presented in French search “Contrebasse”

English Interface *

Search: Bass | 116 entries as of December 16, 2025 – most of them non string-bass related, yet some cited that were not in any of the above (?)
Search: Double Bass | 16 items as of December 16, 2015
Search: Violone | 6 entries as of December 16, 2025

* Please Note – You will get the results as cited above, only if you use specific keyword searches within the indicated interface language.

 

Search: Bass | 231 entry as of December 8, 2015 – majority not related to string basses, yet offering much other iconographic material
Search: Kontrabass | 32 entries as of December 12, 2015 – not all related to string basses, also including iconography

 

Search: Bass | 401 entries as of December 15, 2015 – mostly non string basses, includes also bass viols and a variety of period stringed instruments associated with a certain bass function
Search: Bass Viol | 14 entries as of December 15, 2015 – retrieves bass viols, viola da gambas and few other associated period stringed instruments – not included in this catalog
Search: Contrabass | 1 entry as of December 16, 2015
Search: Double bass | 59 entries as of December 16, 2015 – not all related to string basses, also includes double bass accessories

 

  • Citations acquired by additional searches of the American, Australian, Austrian, German, Italian, Spanish and British online catalogs



Page Development Assistance

ABP is grateful on any information that may widen the scope of this listing. Should you know of any other Museum or a Collection of Musical Instruments that incorporates double basses, please contact ABP and your effort will be credited here.

Created by Igor Pecevski

Last Update: December 6, 2016

Posted: December 30, 2015