Here's a mystery of sorts. Go to:
This is from a photo of Elise Fellows White, ca. 1910, a Maine violinist who began studying with Franz Kneisel as a child, became close friends, was instrumental in the Kneisels' connection with Blue Hill, Maine.
Now - look at her violin. Notice what appear to be two extra white strings, along the edges of the fingerboard and over the very corners of the bridge. What's going on here? I've never seen anything like it, and am hoping that someone can explain it.
My guess is that this was a ca. 1900 instructional aid, designed to keep right arm motion strictly within the limits necessary to play the four strings, thus training the large-muscle habits of the right arm into an economical playing style.
Thoughts and information welcome. This photo (the full image has her looking picturesquely at a marble statue) belongs to the Maine Historical Society, part of a batch of Elise White material they own. MHS hadn't noticed the extra strings until I asked about it, and now is anxious for an explanation as well.
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