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date: 05 December 2019

Mount, William Sidney locked

  • Alan Buechner
  • , revised by Laura Moore Pruett


(b Setauket, NY, Nov 26, 1807; d Setauket, NY, Nov 18, 1868). American painter, composer, fiddler, and inventor. Best known as a genre painter of the Hudson River School who depicted some significant examples of banjo and fiddle iconography, he is also notable for his ‘improved’, louder model of the violin, patented 1 June 1852 (no.8981). The patent model, a 7/8-size instrument (, was patterned after a design that requires fewer constituent parts than usual; it incorporates a boutless, almond-shaped body, a ‘hollow’ (i.e. concave, cradle-like) bent back, a ‘spring-beam’ bass-bar, shortened soundpost, and straight soundholes. In its final form, as exemplified by a full-sized violin of 1857 (Museums at Stony Brook, New York, where Mount’s patterns and notes are also preserved), it possesses a boutless, guitar-shaped body, the same ‘hollow’ back, a conventional bass-bar, and ordinary soundholes in reversed position. Under the trade name ‘The Cradle of Harmony’ various models were displayed at the Crystal Palace, New York, during the ...

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