Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 10 Oct 1998 1998-10-10T00:00:00.000Z 1998-10-10T00:00:00.000Z 1998.60.11.1 The Zillah Castle and Ronald Castle Collection of Musical Instruments, (14), collection of Auckland War Memorial Museum, 1998.60.11.1 1999-01-12T00:00:00.000Z 1 bow MUR 83, Dolmetsch 2020-12-20T19:18:13.401Z castle collection Castle 45 viola da gamba, Baroque viol with sloping neck and fingerboard, high bridge, flat plate on back, six strings, fretted fingerboard, frets are catgut tied around fingerboard. Incised design between fingerboard and bridge of stylised plant. Interesting double row of purfling on belly, back has single row of purfling, angling at top of back has two rows of purfling, back joint in middle goes slightly up to one side to balance purfling.Two ")" shaped soundholes on viol body. 1 viola da gamba Thomas Cole, London, England, late 17th century fingerboard and tailpiece by Arnold Dolmetsch workshop, Haslemere, Surrey, England, circa 1922 maple, spruce, walnut, rosewood, bone, gut, length of back 687 mm labelled ‘THOMAS COLE / LONDON’ 1998.60.11 Castle 14 with viola da gamba bow Arnold Dolmetsch workshop, Haslemere, Surrey, England, circa 1920 snakewood, overall length 713 mm, weight 514g 1998.60.11 Castle 14 Mona Castle ordered this viola da gamba, along with a bow, from the Dolmetsch workshop. In March 1945 the Dolmetsch workshops was engaged in war work and were not making new instruments. Instead, they attempted to obtain an export license for an authentic instrument for Mona Castle. The workshop indicated to her that after the war they would resume making their own instruments. They were asking £75 for this viola da gamba when a new instrument by them would cost £70 and a bow £10.10.0. The Castles reapplied for an import license from England for the viola da gamba in April 1945. Presumably due to the war effort imposing license restrictions, their application was again declined. By October 1946 permission was granted to import the instrument, as well as a triangular harpsichord by Arnold Dolmetsch (not on display). This viola da gamba arrived in New Zealand in early 1947. The Dolmetsch workshop replied to Ronald’s inquiry about the history of the object. ‘With regard to the history of the Viola da Gamba, we regret that we do not know much about this particular instrument before 1922 when it was discovered and put into playing order by Arnold Dolmetsch. About its maker, Thomas Cole, we can say that he was a pupil of Richard Meares at the same time as Barak Norman. All Thomas Cole instruments that we have met with have an outstandingly good tone; full and resonant. His instruments are scarcer than those of Barak Norman. Arnold Dolmetsch thought very highly of this particular Viola da Gamba.’ viola da gamba
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