Hardanger Violin

1981-1508awThis Hardanger violin was made by Tom Nelson of Langhei Township, probably between 1884 and 1897.
1981-1508axIt is carved from light-colored wood with mother of pearl inlay. The mother of pearl inaly pieces were hand carved from buttons. It has 4 upper strings and place for 4 lower strings (3 are missing).
The head is carved into the royal lion of Norway, complete with teeth and tongue. There are intricate carvings on the back.
The violin is in a wooden carrying case with a metal handle on top, but there is no bow included.1981-1508ar
Also in the violin case are a photograph, an extra string, a bridge, a post and a makeup mirror. Knut and Inger were the children of Tom, so I am guessing that they are not the ones in the photo. It may be Tom and one of his wives: Inger Lee (who died of tuberculosis), Olra Dokken, who also died very young, but most probably his third wife – Joren (Julia) Esplein. Or it could be his parents Nils and Kari Bjorkland.
Tom was born in Norway and came to the US at age 19. 1981-1508am

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