This is the iconic and culturally-significant Ned Landry fiddle, made by Giovanni Battista Rugginlli in Paris, France, 1900. A Guarnerius copy, this fiddle was played for over 50 years by legendary New Brunswick fiddler Ned Landry, who is 97 years old. Ned is from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, and was a household name in the maritimes and Canada-wide for many years. He is famous for his old-time fiddle and country tunes.
The fiddle was brought to Canada by a seafaring man in the 1930’s, who, down on his luck, sold it to Joe and Sam Gilbert’s Pawn Shop in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Ned purchased it from their shop in 1939. With this fiddle, Ned recorded many albums and won competitions over a 50 year period.
My grandfather, Ken Wood, of Kentville, N.S., idolized Ned from a young age, and eventually they became good friends, fellow musicians, and even recorded an album together. Ken purchased the fiddle from Ned in 1998, for $10,000. I purchased the fiddle from my grandfather in 2015.
There is enormous historical, cultural, and musical value in this instrument. According to Ned Landry, Master of the Fiddle, by Sandra L. Gowan, “The fiddle has a full-bodied tone, a mellow sound, and perfect pitch. This fiddle, in Ned’s hands, promises unequalled listening pleasure every time he makes an appearance.” This instrument helps to tell the story of the importance of old-time fiddle music of New Brunswick, and Canada as a whole.
The fiddle features a fine spruce top and an impressive flamed maple back of two pieces. There is no significant structural damage or cracks. There is a minor crack on each f-hole, and one repaired crack on the lower treble bout that runs from the bottom to the f-hole.
The carvings on the face read as follows:
"Ned Landry, RCA Victor Recording and TV artist, Saint John NB, Champ-Fiddle, 1956-57-62" and "North-America Champ-Fiddle"
I possess quite a bit of provenance that will accompany the fiddle, including:
Giovanni Battista Ragginlli violin, signed Ned Landry
Ned’s original case
Ned’s original fingerboard and tailpiece
Ned’s Canadian General Insurance Company policy from 1962
Receipt of payment of sale between Ken Wood and Ned Landry, 1998
Numerous correspondences between Ken and Ned
Numerous newspaper articles highlighting Ned and the fiddle
Ned Landry Fiddle Tunes book, signed Ned Landry
Ned Landry Master of the Fiddle book by N.B. author Sandra Gowan, out of print
Selection of Ned Landry Records
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According to the Canadian Encyclopedia:
Ned (Frederick Lawrence) Landry. Fiddler, composer, singer, b Saint John, NB, 2 Feb 1921. Though as a boy he taught himself to play the violin, Landry first appeared, in 1934, on Don Messer's CHSJ radio show 'Backwoods Breakdown' as a harmonica player. In 1939, with the New Brunswick Lumberjacks, he placed second in CBS radio's 'Major Bowes' Amateur Hour' in New York, and then became the first oldtime fiddler to perform on TV in Boston. He began recording for RCA Victor in 1955, completing eight LPs for that label. He also made LPs for Arc, MMC, Afton, his own Landry label, and Prime Time. The winner in the open class of the 1956, 1957, and 1962 Canadian Open Old Time Fiddlers' Contests, Landry appeared in the 1950s on CFBC radio, Saint John, and in the 1960s on 'Don Messer's Jubilee' and other TV shows. He performed throughout Canada and recorded many of his several hundred fiddle tunes, composed in various Canadian styles. Some are published in the folios Ned Landry Favorite Fiddle Tunes (Empire 1952) and Bowing the Strings with Ned Landry(Thompson 1959). Among his best-known titles are Ontario Swing, Bowin' the Strings, and Hillbilly Calypso.
Landry was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1991. Among his performances in the 1990s and later were appearances at several festivals: for the Prince of Wales in Fredericton; and at Walt Disney World, Florida. The recipient of the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2002 East Coast Music Association Awards, Landry also received a lifetime contribution award from the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship; the latter offers a trophy named for him. He was also inducted into the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame, and the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame. He continued to compose fiddle tunes, including his "Governor General's Waltz," and to make recordings. Among his recent recordings were Ned Landry: International Fiddling Champion(Atlantica NL-00102, 1994); Generations (with Ivan Hicks; ME-1013, 2001); and The Master and the Apprentice (with Ken Wood, 1999). The National Library of Canada holds his archives.
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Condition of Item(s):
Used - Good Condition
Call 1-902-697-2428 if you are interested.
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