pochettes/pocket violins/kit violins

Edited: July 25, 2019, 2:57 AM · I vaguely thought of getting one for fun/completism.
Maybe they're junk. Maybe they're rare, expensive junk? Haven't looked on ebay yet.
Any thoughts?

There you go, a Chinese one, lol.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rare-special-and-nice-tiny-pocket-violin-small-violin-body/232519214204?hash=item362339a47c:g:B3sAAOSwP~tW3sMX

Replies (7)

July 25, 2019, 3:38 AM · That's very sweet. An early 19th c. one by Charles Harris was recently sold at Bromptons for £960.

I don't know this ebay shop but I see they sell a vast range of accessories which could be useful - thanks!

July 25, 2019, 6:13 AM · A history of the pochette/kit violin in this link:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit_violin

I think there must still be a place for kit violins today, including travel and quiet practice in a hotel room. Also a very useful instrument for the 17/18th century dance masters when on the dance floor in the middle of the dancers he is teaching. I know of a local folk dance group where the teacher is a very good folk fiddler, and a kit fiddle could stand her in good stead.

Edited: July 25, 2019, 6:52 AM · Yes, Trevor, or if tone quality is a worry, maybe an electric silent pochette for travel and hotel practice. However, I was mainly curious about antiques. £950 isn't so bad if you are used to spending tens of thousands on violins and thousands on bows. The Chinese one is nicely finished, but who knows what it sounds like.
July 25, 2019, 7:50 AM · Not sure about how useful it would be for practising. Even if the vibrating string length is close to a full-size, the arm position will be more like playing in the higher positions. I'm inclined to feel £950 is actually rather a lot to pay for an instrument with such limited capabilities and correspondingly small market. I expect an anonymous one would be knocked down for considerably less
Edited: July 25, 2019, 3:23 PM · I don't believe that sound should matter too much in this case. They weren't made to have a strong sound anyway, and weren't used on any kind of public performance - they were invented for teaching the ballroom dances of that time, but not in large groups the way dancing schools are organized nowadays. The master of dance would come to the private homes of the privileged to teach their children what they would need for their initiation to the salon society. An ordinary sized room, maybe two or a handful of young people - and a small piece of stringed hollow wood to show the rhythms. Don't expect too much, any factory 1/16 instrument will do at least as good, tone wise. Nowadays it's just a gag. A nice antique one might be nice for collectors, but a new Chinese one?? Maybe as an electric, for some cross over folk rock fiddling, but an acoustic?!? Stop kidding...
August 3, 2019, 1:18 AM · I saw a pochette for the first time this year art Australia's national folk festival. An American woman had brought it with her (Sorry, didn't think to ago her where she got it as I've seen them occasionally in in early music or specialist folk shops) because it's easy to deal with in planes (fits into a wide poster tube).
She was a pretty accomplished player and it sounded like a decent intermediate level violin. It didn't have outstanding projection but wasn't especially quiet. The slight differences in size/ length aren't asking different to picking up your child's 3/4 Violin and running some scales addressed you've tuned it.


I think it would be brilliant for someone like Trevor's friend who teaches period dancing, but also useful for anyone that wants a practice violin and travels for work.

August 4, 2019, 4:44 PM · Has anyone here looked into the "Cricket" series of compact/travel violins marketed by the Magic Fluke ukulele folks?

https://www.magicfluke.com/Cricket-s/1817.htm , if posting a link is acceptable. Not personally in the market right now, but can't help being curious.

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