| This Bass is labeled A.
Batchelder & Son, Pelham N.H. 1875. I have found 2 Violins labeled A.M.
Batchelder of Frankfurt, Maine by searching the internet. The one is labeled
1928 while the other is 1946 #68. I have also found another A. Batchelder making
dulcimers in the 1990's. I contacted the person who has the 1928 Violin and he commented
that the person who sold him this particular violin was named, believe it or
not, Ken Smith. I believe my Batchelder to be the son or grandson of this
Maker and the Dulcimer maker several generations later.
The Batchelder genealogy
on the internet goes back to 16th Century England. with Batchelders coming to America
over 370 years ago. Another famous New England maker of Deerfield, New Hampshire
in the early 1800's was Abraham Prescott, also of English
genealogy with settlement in New England. According to the gene pool,
Benjamin Batchelder married Dorothia Prescott, in 1735. Also Jedidiah Prescott
married Hannah Batchelder in 1742 & Susan Batchelder to George Prescott in
1846. Are these makers
connected? This links the two families by
There are some Prescott features on this
Bass like the long narrow
carved Scroll and the construction of the Back and Ribs. The Back which only
appears to be 1/4" in thickness is actually about 5/8" in thickness.
The Ribs are inlaid into the Back as a "Rabbet Joint" like you would see in
Cabinet Making. The Back is New England White Pine, which has greater strength
due to the extra thickness with this type of construction. The internal Rib
linings cover up the joint work of the Back. The tone of this Bass is unique.
Although it has great clarity in all registers it also possesses depth and
smoothness similar to
many old Italian Basses I have played. We recently sold a beautiful Prescott as shown on our Bass pages here. Although it was a much larger Bass, this Batchelder has that same 'bell tone' qualities with a much bigger sound than one would expect from a Bass this size. There is no doubt in my mind that this Bass is of equal quality in tone and construction as any Prescott would be in a similar size and condition as this Bass has had a full restoration within the last 20 years and is in 'tip-top' shape. This in my opinion is truly a rare find.
ire Although the Batchelder it is a very good Orchestral Bass, it is a 'killer' Jazz Bass with growl and sustain which reminds one of the best recorded tracks we have heard from players like Ray Brown.