Springers museum..Pochette or Kit violin collection

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Small pocket violins or pochettes (pouch violins) first known recorded  in the 16th century. Used by dancing masters when teaching ladies to dance in royal courts and nobility. Also used by street musicians and later sold as novelty violins. They are made for adults and have a small body and proportionally larger fingerboard.

They come in various forms. Some with tiny violin bodies and variations, other with tube shaped bodies, later examples of teardrop shape.


 1. Circa 1790-1820 

  2. Circa 1790-1820 

  3. circa 1730-50

  4.Circa 1820-40

  5.Circa 1850-60

  6. Circa 1800-1830

   7.Circa 1840-60

  8.Circa 1820-40

 9. Circa 1870-1890

  10. Circa 1830-50

  11. circa 1800


 A 19th century dancing masters kit  of violin outline. (left)

A kit fiddle of early 19th century


An early 18th century dancing masters kit. With a fake Amati label 1631. 43cm long, the body17cm. With it original tail piece boxwood pegs.


18th century pochettes,  French. Left hand by Claude Lebet. 40cm long.Originally would have had leather pouches. The body and neck are carved out of one piece.


A late 18th-early 19th century kit of Swiss origins. Inlaid with bone decorations to the neck and body edges. By Eischer. Length 43cm.


A late 18th century kit with a finely carved back. The body and neck are carve from a single piece of maple. the fingerboard and table separately.42cm in length.

Gamba shaped kit circa 1800

(left) A German, Mittenwald  tear drop kit by Badder. 19th century. A carved head finial. 56cm.

An English tear drop shape  kit (right), 19th century.


A 19th century practice violin or a kit. Standard violin length but a small body in one piece with the chin rest. Unlike most kits made to play under the chin.


 An strange  early rectangular bodied kit fiddle.  The leg section is to prop the fiddle against the body for support when playing. Length 60cm.


 A 19th century walking stick fiddle from the Mittenwald, Germany The side has a panel opening to reveal a kit style fiddle. The bow is housed inside, access via unscrewing the handle. The handle acts as a rest to the body when playing. Probably produced as a novelty stick for the emerging tourist trade. Now very rare.


Early 19th century narrow bodied fiddle. By repute made by a narrow boat skipper on the Grand Junction canal. Later on  the Tudor Rose on the Arun navigation.

See Also:-

Hardanger Fiddles   Pochette and kit violins    Metal violins   Decorated violins   Unusual violas   Fakes  Mute violins    Early violins

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