Incroyables and Merveilleuses, of the renewal of the Cane    

Case cane, pochette fiddle kit violin cane, Danse master cane

Danse master

Danse masters where part of, the instrument player community, in Paris, where their headmaster was designated as "King of violin", and was controlled by approuved statuts and confirmed by letters of patent from 1659. It was requiered to pass an exam, and to pay, to be admited in the brotherhood, danse masters couldn't practise their work, in giving lessons at home or in the town, whitout to be one of them.

The Dance Master
Letters of patent signed by the King

From there started many proceedings that, during one century, occupies a quantity of courts of law; the last "King of violin", named Guignon, juged by the way, in 1773, to renounce to his suzerainty. From this day, to be a danse master by profession became free.

We understood, from that moment, that the so called"pochette fiddle"or kit violin canes have had a certain popularity in this century.

Pochette fiddle-cane of a Dance master

Pochette fiddle-cane, so called kit violin or danse master cane. On the left image the cane is in it case, on the right out of it case.


Danse master

The figures nearer shows us the cane from a danse master, this case cane, was called pochette fiddle because of the small violin that the danse master put into his pocket, in order to give his lessons in town.

"The kit violin, or kit (Tanzmeistergeige in German), is a stringed musical instrument. It is essentially a very small violin, designed to fit in a pocket — hence its other common name, the pochette fiddle. It was used by dance masters in royal courts and other places of nobility, as well as by street musicians up until around the 18th century." Wikipédia

"The term "kit" is believed to first have been used in the first quarter of the 16th century, in England where is was mentioned in Interlude of the Four Elements (circa 1517)."Wikipédia


Here is how we used it:



Unscrew the handle, take off the horn ring; by pulling the bridge hide in flat under the fingerboard, place it at the level of the soundpost, and, after having removed the bow from the inside of the musical instrument, screw the cane handleback in order to raise the violin up to the shoulder.

It could give a sufficient note to accompany chassés-croisés (set to partners) danse nor steps of minuet .

This case cane from the XVIIIe century is one of M. A. Jubinal's collection.


Source: " Danse master" definition is extract from "Larousse du XXe siècle "en six volumes - Published under the editorship of Paul AUGE -

Source: The case cane and the pictures are extract from "Dictionnaire de l'Art de la curiosité et du Bibelot" (1883).

Source: "" into braquet comes from wikipédia free encyclopedia .


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