Archive for June 26th, 2012

In addition to books, magazines, pamphlets, and ephemera, the Mahoney Music Collection also contains unpublished material such as the John Gould’s Violin Instrument Appraisals – 1945-1984. This collection is 2 linear feet of violin appraisal and identification forms. The Gould material is a “wealth of day to day material covering years in the life of an important regional early US luthier” (Mahoney 2012).

John Alfred Gould, 1860-1944 was born in Windermere England in 1866, worked in Liverpool with W.F. Archer, went to Hamilton Canada in 1884, and settled in Boston where he worked for violin maker Orin Weeman in 1885. He opened his first shop in 1889. Four of his sons, Erik, Orin, Ronald, and Gilbert, and one grandson, Orrin Gould, worked for his company John A. Gould & Sons at various times. This company continued in Boston until the late 1980s.

Gould designed his own violin model using solely American woods and using mostly oil varnish. His instruments were played throughout the United States. “Two of his violins were used in acoustic experiments conducted by Harvard University Professor Frederick Saunders in 1938, who compared them with Jascha Heifetz’s Guarneri del Gesu” (Mahoney 2012).


Gould, John A. “The early violin makers of New England.” Journal of the Violin Society of America 16, no. 1 (1999): 1-76.

Frequently Asked Questions. National Music Museum.. http://orgs.usd.edu/nmm/FAQ.html#worth (accessed 2012 June 26).

How to get a Musical Instrument Appraisal. Dwight Newton. http://mewzik.com/resources/appraisals.php (accessed 2012 June 9).

John Alfred Gould. Johnson String Instrument. http://www.johnsonstring.com/american-collection/gould.php (accessed 2012 June 16).

Mahoney, John. Email message to author, 2012 June 12.

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