Sunday, August 19, 2018

Mary Rose 1

Having a little time this afternoon, which I could have spent doing yard work but didn't, I sketched up a new project.

In 1545, the Mary Rose, one of King Henry VIII's battleships, sunk.  Retrieval efforts were started quite early, but it wasn't raised until 1982.  Shown in a nice museum, which I'd like to see someday.  Here's a link to it -- Mary Rose Museum.

Among the many artifacts found, some sort of fiddle. 

I've been wanting to make a copy for quite some time now, and finally have a chance.  A high-school student, needing a project, wanting to explore violin-making, so we discussed a few options I had on various backburners.  He liked the Mary Rose fiddle idea.

I sent him off with the assignment to make a scale drawing of what we're going to make, based on photos available on the net of the actual artifact and other folks' reconstructions.  Having been a successful college instructor, I realize the importance of being at least 2 text-book pages ahead of the students.  So, today at the kitchen table, I sharpened up a pencil and went to work. 

On the original, the neck is missing, and the peghead is ambiguous.  So I have freedom to decide how to proceed there. My plan here is to make a 3-string, scaled to a 16" viola, using the lowest 3 strings.  A chording, rhythm instrument, to accompany singing or melody instruments.  Of our modern English words, rhythm has to be one that looks most like Old English, even though it's probably not.

So, basic sketch laid out.  I can think about it, and still change my mind.  It is in pencil. 


  1. Fabulous to see - good luck with the fiddle project and thanks for promoting the Mary Rose. Do let me know should you come to visit us one day.

  2. Thank you. I hope to see the Mary Rose in March.