Stroviols Resophonic Violin , c. 1910

Stroviols  Resophonic Violin ,  c. 1910

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Item # 7930
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Stroviols Resophonic Violin, c. 1910, made in Birmingham, England, mahogany body ebony fingerboard, original brown leather covered soft shell case.

This is a very rare Stroviols violin. The sound of the instrument is quite loud, and projects very well. It is of course a much more tinny or metallic tone (compared to a wood bodied instrument), yet still quite full and beautiful. This is a particularly nice-sounding example, and is in overall very good + condition, showing only a bit of wear on the back of the neck from play. The decal below the bridge is 90% complete, with some parts having fallen off over time.

The history of the Stroviols company is fascinating, and even plays a role in the development of the National resonator instruments! John Matthias Augustus Stroh, an electrical engineer in London, was a maker using the name Stroviols as a trade name for his phono instruments, which included violin, viola, cello, bass, ukulele, Hawaiian guitar, mandolin, and also one-string phonofiddles.

The design was patented on May 4th 1899 -- UK patent GB9418 titled "Improvements in Violins and other Stringed Instruments" -- which was accepted on March 24th, 1900. The patent described the use of a flat metal (other materials are also mentioned) diaphragm in the voice-box (reproducer) of a violin to mechanically amplify the sound.

On February 16th, 1901 he applied for an additional UK patent (GB3393) titled "Improvements in the Diaphragms of Phonographs, Musical Instruments, and Anologous Sound-producing, Recording and Transmitting Contrivances" which was accepted on December 14th, 1901. This effectively extended the first concept to now use a conical resonator with corrugations at its edge, allowing a more "rigid" diaphragm.

Interestingly, his failure to patent his inventions in the USA allowed John Dopyera and Geo Beauchamp to subsequently obtain US patents for the tricone and single cone designs used in National resonator instruments.
 
Length is 23 1/2 in. (59.7 cm.), 6 11/16 in. (17 cm.) diameter of bell. Scale length is 13 in. (330 mm.).

A very fine example of this very rare instrument. Some wear to the finish on the back of the neck; the finish on the barrel is quite good. Some wear to the logo decal. One or two minor dings in the large bell, and a minor bend in one part of the flare. All parts are original. Includes a period bow. Bell diameter is 6 1/2". Very Good + Condition.