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Hardanger Fiddle

Made by: Erik Jonson Helland

19th Century


ca. 1850

The Hardanger fiddle (in Norwegian, hardingfele), similar to a violin, has four melody strings and played with a bow.  However, it’s unique feature is the four or five “understrings” which resonate sympathetically creating the unique sound for which the Hardanger fiddle is famous.

The Hardanger fiddle is often beautifully decorated with mother-of-pearl inlay and black pen-and-ink drawings, called rosing.  The scroll typically includes a carved dragon or lion’s head. It is considered the national instrument of Norway.

Letter from 1992, linking this instrument to Ole Bull from his great granddaughter, Patricia Bull Smith Langdon
Original painted wood case
Bo Telemarken, Norway