Modern + Contemporary Design /25 March 2007


John Burdick

Aluminum Company of America
USA, c. 1932
polished aluminum, Bakelite, ebony, metal, wire
8¼ w × 4 d × 23½ h in (21 × 10 × 60 cm)

The Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) first produced John Burdick’s aluminum bass in 1928. Dr. Joseph Maddy, the founder of the Interlochen School of Music, was drawn to the instrument for its experimental use of material and its sturdy quality. In 1932, Maddy collaborated with Burdick and Alcoa to produce the aluminum violin, which was distributed by Aluminum Musical Instrument Company. Signed with distributor’s decal label to interior: [Aluminum Musical Instrument Co. Ann Arbor, Michigan 1932 patent applied for].

literature: Aluminum by Design, Nichols, pg. 29

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $4,800

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