James W. Briggs Double Bass, Wakefield anno 1888, No4
This fine and characteristic example is signed on the inside back in black ink and branded J. W. Briggs, Wakefield at the join of the two bottom ribs. In terms of provenance, it is featured in full colour on page 115 of the magnificent and authoritative BVMA publication entitled Violin Making in Scotland 1750-1950 by David Rattray. It is also featured over four full-colour pages in the sumptuously produced 2018 publication entitled The English Double Bass by Tom & George Martin and Martin Lawrence. Should those two works still not be quite enough provenance for you, it is featured in a fascinating and informative article by the same trio of authors, in an article entitled ‘Northern Lights’ that appeared in the August 2019 Strad magazine.
What a classy instrument this is.
As for the sound, it is absolutely huge across all the strings. Hold on to the china plates!
Stats:LOB (length of back) - 114.0cm (44.80in)
Width across upper bouts - 54.2cm (21.25in)
Width across middle bouts - 39.2cm (15.45in)
Width across lower bouts - 72.0cm (28.35in)
Depth of lower ribs - 24.0cm (including both plates)
Body Stop - 60.0cm (23.65in)
String length - 105.2cm (41.35in)
Reference number #2861