Top of page

Collection Musical Instruments at the Library of Congress

Wilkins Early Stringed Instruments Collection

Early Stringed Instruments

This instrument collection consists of six early stringed instruments donated in 1937 by Dr. H. Blakiston Wilkins, the Library’s former honorary curator of what is sometimes called the Cremonese Collection (stringed instruments made in Cremona, Italy). The Wilkins Collection includes a pardessus de viole (five-string treble viol), made by Louis Guersan, Paris (1749); a 14-string viola d'amore by an unknown German maker (second half of the 18th century); a 12-string viola d'amore by Ferdinando Gagliano, Naples (1763); a 7-string bass viol attributed to Pieter Rombouts, Amsterdam (early 18th century); a quinton (a 5-string combination of violin and treble viol) by François le Jeune, Paris (1760); and the remains of a late-17th-century bass viol (possibly by Joachim Teilke, Hamburg) which was converted into a cello, probably early in the 19th century.