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

IF4

Stefan Krattenmacher details an instrument by the English maker

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…

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