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Vintage Ebony Shaped Bones, matched set of 4
Matched Set of 4 Vintage Ebony Shaped Bones
One-of-a-kind vintage item. Order now. When it's gone, it's gone.
Why shop here?
matched set of 4
Quantity in Stock:
(Out of Stock)
Not Currently Available
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Matched set of 4 in excellent condition
The last person who owned this matched set of vintage shaped ebony bones was born in 1887.
I acquired the set from his granddaughter, Sue in April, 2006. I asked if she could provide any details about her grandfather playing these bones.
"My grandpa was a silversmith and engraver, and I always thought that playing bones was out of character. I had never seen him play them and all my family have gone now so I can't ask them to help you. The only thing I can think of, and it may sound odd, is that he was supposed to be a brilliant tap dancer."
I responded that tap dancing and playing bones does not seem odd to me. After all, I clog dance and play bones - often at the same time. Then I went on to explain that tap dancing grew out of clog dancing, so they are both percussive dance forms. Sue became fascinated when I mentioned that virtually all music that works great with bones, works equally well with percussive dance.
"Grandpa was born in 1887, spent his life in Yorkshire and died when I was 15 in 1964 and I am now thinking of him in a completely different light. Not the quiet gentle talented artist and horticulturist who would take me into his garden and teach me about his plants and tease me with earwigs, that image has been pushed well aside I can tell you. I'm intrigued, how I wish I could go back and find out more."
The set of 4 ebony bones look like they were originally produced by a professional manufacturer, probably in England, where the grandfather resided. One end of each bone was apparently shaped later by the owner, however, for a more comfortable grip.
The shaping was evidently carved by hand, so each bone is slightly different. The handiwork lends a rustic quality to the set.
I think they might call these bones "knackers" in England. As I understand it, English knackers are similar to American minstrel style bones, except the cross-section of knackers are less oval. Please post a review below if you have more to add or if I am way off the mark.
In any event, over the past few years I have rattled this set in performance at several living history minstrel show performances and they sound absolutely great! Now it is time to pass them along.
How Old Are They?
Since the previous owner passed away in 1964, then this vintage set is at least 47 years old. But I'm guessing they're closer to 100.
Figures are approximate (but pretty darn close)--
Composition: Ebony hardwood
Weight: 1.3 oz each, 5.2 oz set
Camber (arc): 28 degrees
Design: Shaped Knackers
Silky Smooth Finish: Rich black ebony hardwood.
Matched Set: 2 pairs, 4 individual bones.
Minstrel Style Design: Still popular after 150 years.
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