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Henry Anthony Bonnett 

Posted 1/14/2012 6:11:18 AM

I've always been amazed how many old gunsmiths also made fiddles and other instruments. In my neck of the woods (Western PA), there were at least three prominent gunsmiths who also made fiddles. Henry Bonnet was one, and lived in my hometown. A number of his fiddles are still in the area, and occasionally one turns up on ebay. I'd still like to own one someday. Nothing extraordinary about them, but they're on par with good trade fiddles from the era. Bonnet (1835-1907) was Brookville's Renaissance man, and did a bit of everything, making violins, mandolins and guitars, doing bicycle repairs, blacksmithing, gunsmithing, calligraphy and writing some rather bad poetry. This old picture was taken in his shop on Main Street in Brookville, PA, right around 1900.

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