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Violin Box

Place Made:
Edenton North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
walnut, yellow pine
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: A rectangular box designed for holding a violin: Decorated with molding cut into its upper edge, hinged onto an equally deep base with applied base molding; the lid and base separated by an applied bead; the interior of box fitted for holding a violin, and with a compartment presumably for holding bow string and wax, reached by a sliding lid; case is equipped with a lock and brass Chippendale-style escutcheon, the bottom wrought-nailed into place.

FORM: A very rare survival of a specialized furniture form, this case was intended for table-top storage and was not a carrying case. Such items were produced by Edenton cabinetmakers, as we see in the 1778 probate inventory of cabinetmaker Alexander Montgomery, which listed “1 Mohogany fiddle case.” The elegance of this case, however, indicates use with a fine instrument, one perhaps matching a surprising entry in the 1767 will of Joshua Bodley in Edenton, which described his “fine Stradvoire Cremona.” Bodley was an agent of Lord Granville.

The violin box has been in MESDA’s collection since the museum opened in 1965. Frank L. Horton purchased it from Mr. L. A. Cox, who had found it in the Edenton vicinity.
Credit Line:
Gift of Frank L. Horton