Benoît Joseph Boussu’s double bass

The double bass by Benoît Joseph Boussu (1703-1773), acquired thanks to the Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund, is the only one that can be attributed to him at this time. Boussu’s stringed instruments were renowned during his lifetime for their quality and they are still much appreciated today.

After a career as a notary, Benoît Joseph Boussu turned to making stringed instruments in Liege around 1749. He then moved to Brussels, as confirmed by the labels on instruments he made: « Boussu, maître luthier à Bruxelles » (Boussu, master luthier in Brussels). Such is the case of the double bass acquired by the Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund. Made in 1760, the instrument bears Boussu’s name in several places, notably inside the soundbox, whilst the golden transparent varnish and the form of the scrolled sound holes leaves no doubt as to the instrument’s creator.

The double bass has been entrusted to the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels, where it has now completed the collection of violins and cellos made by Boussu. This instrument will also enable the Museum to conduct further research on Benoît Joseph Boussu, as well as on the instruments he created.

Further information about the Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund (in French)

Type: 
musical instrument
Material / technique: 
wood
Dimensions: 
H 183 cms
Type of acquisition: 
Léon Courtin-Marcelle Bouché Fund acquisition
Year of acquisition: 
2014
Depository institution: 
Museum of Musical Instruments, Brussels