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Vintage Natural Bones, matched set of four, 5 inch
Matched Set of Four Vintage Musical Bones, 5 inch
Victorian era kid-size bones?

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Rare vintage item. Order now. When it's gone, it's gone.

Only $169.99 set of four

Here's what you get: Two matched pairs (4 individual bones)

Quantity in Stock:(Out of Stock)

Product Code: V-100A1-31

Description Technical Specs
Matched Set of Four Vintage Musical Bones, 5"

I discovered this matched set of four vintage musical bones in February, 2016. They came from an antique dealer from the village of Ponciau in Wrexham, Wales.

The sharp tone they produce is characteristic of instruments made of solid natural bone.

Short Design Style
The bones measure just 5" in length. This is a quite shorter than minstrel style bones which usually measure around 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 inches long. I understand that short musical bones were prevalent among Irish and seafaring players, but I can offer you no verifiable references to substantiate the claim.

Traditional Tapered Shape
The bones taper from thin at one end, to thick at the other. Tapered designs are common among shaped wooden musical bones. Some players prefer tapered bones as it makes them lighter and thinner (and thus easier to grip) at the top, but heavier and thicker (and thus easier to rattle) at the bottom. They appear to be a matched set although one bone is less curvy than the other three.

Victorian Era Kids Bones?
I prefer minstrel-length bones, and while I can manage to play these short onesó(even four in one hand), they are a bit too short for my liking.

Wouldn't it be charming if these bones belonged to a Victorian era child who played them in the garden and on the boardwalk? The kid probably got them from his great uncle, a crusty old salt who carved them at sea and kept the bones stashed in a small pocket, rattling them during his long hours while on watch.

What You Get
You get two pairs of matched bones (4 individual musical bones). That is a matched set of two bones for each hand. One bone is somewhat less curvy than the other three which does not affect playing. (See images above.)

Are These Whalebone?
The bones look and feel like ivory, but close inspection reveals a grain like whalebone objects I have seen in museums. Musical bones made of ox shin are somewhat similar. But ox shin musical bones are usually larger. Also, ox shin grain is unlike this grain. Moreover, the antique appearance of these vintage bones makes the possibility they are ox shin seem remote.

But whatever they are, they are fun to play and produce a nice crisp snappy sound. How old are they? The whaling industry was going strong in 1807, so I am guessing this set is from one-hundred to two-hundred years old.
  • Short Length: Okay for kids, but might be too short for most adults.
  • Tapered Design: Easy to grip, easy to rattle.
  • Authentic Vintage Items: Great for living history events.

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