In Focus: A c.1815 double bass by Thomas Dodd


Stefan Krattenmacher details an instrument by the English maker

Discover more lutherie articles here

Read more premium content for subscribers here

Thomas Dodd was born in 1764 to Edward Dodd, a steelworker in Sheffield. Shortly after Thomas’s birth, Edward moved his family to London where he became a bow maker. Although his sons John and James immediately followed their father into the trade, Thomas initially became a beer brewer, only later turning to instrument and bow making. In 1798 he employed two Germans, Bernhard Simon Fendt I and John Lott I, who went on to craft some of the finest double basses ever made in London while at the Dodd workshop. It was Dodd, however, who gave the instruments their signature varnish, the best in London at the time: rich and transparent with dark red pigment over an amber ground…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.