Violí de José Contreras (MDMB 1058). Fotografia: ©R. Vargas

Heritage string quartets

The classical string quartet consists of two violins, one viola and one cello. But in the Museum's collection this is more unbalanced and more varied. We find 35 violins or fragments, built by luthiers like Altimira, Duclos, Vuillaume, Marquès, Contreras, and a fragment of Amati, but none by Stradivari...

Some of them avoid the classical model, like the Stroh, with a metallic bell and without a sound box, the walking-stick violins ('hidden' inside a stick), a Delft porcelain violin from around 1710 (twin of the one at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam) and violins from other cultures: a magnificent sarangui from India or a Maghrebian rebab from the 19th century.

Violí bastó (MDMB 416). Fotografia: ©R. Vargas

Also the violin-guitar made in Barceloneta de Provenza, or a violin mold from Assensio. However, there are only two violas, anonymous, besides a couple of violas d'amore. Cellos, 10, with remarkable pieces by Duclos, Clarà and Bofill.


Motlle de Vicente Assensio (MDMB 11217). Fotografia: S. Guasteví
Mold of violin by Vicente Assensio (MDMB 11217)

Violoncel de Nicolas Duclos (MDMB 1032). Fotografia: Esther Fernández
Cello by Nicolas Duclos (MDMB 1032)

Clicking on this link you can listen the section Classicism and North European movements to discover Contreras and Maire's violins.