The English Double Bass

The English Double Bass is an unprecedented work, by double bass experts Thomas Martin, George Martin and Martin Lawrence. This 524-page work features 766 colour photographs of 100 double basses enshrined in its leather-bound covers, printed on high-quality paper. A valuable contribution to the history of the double bass, it is an essential addition to the library of musicians, researchers, museum curators, auctioneers, luthiers, restorers and valuers.  

Example sections taken from the book 

Baker Machine Head Section

Mathew Furber II Section

The English Double Bass

  • “This book has been a passion and a vision of Martin and Tom for many, many years. It's been amazing to see the book – in reality a thesis – develop and shape itself into a truly fascinating account of the history of the English double bass. The photographic quality is quite extraordinary." John Tattersdill, UK
  • “ I have no doubt that this wonderful book ‘The English Double Bass’ will be considered one of the most significant bodies of work and resources for all quality double bass makers and players alike. And I cannot think of anyone more qualified to produce a book on this topic. A truly invaluable 'must have' in my atelier. "Benedict G Puglisi, Australia

  • “In over 500 years of double bass there has never been such a definitive work on the English school of double bass and who better to be producing it than one of the country's leading teams in the field? It promises to be a valuable and important reference and resource guide to all interested in the subject - whether luthier, player, collector or fanatic.” Will Mackay, UK

  • "Having owned several old English basses in recent years, as well as seeing several that I had wished to own, seeing a book in the making about English basses has me up on my toes. I think through 18th and 19th Centuries, the English were the greatest makers of the Double Bass. With a book like this on the horizon, I think this is definitely a 'must-own' piece of literature for both historical and research reasons." Ken Smith, USA

  • "The importance of this new publication is immense and it will stand as a landmark for many generations. Thanks to the work of Thomas Martin, Martin Lawrence and George Martin other nations with a legacy of great double bass makers stand challenged!” From Peder Linneberg


    How the English double bass rose to become so admired by the players of today is a fascinating story, brought about by a unique set of historical circumstances. The introduction provides an in-depth historical and cultural analysis of how the double bass became established in England and details how the English viol makers began turning their attention to these large instruments. The double bass had made its impact on the Continent but only begun to appear in England in the early 18th Century.

    The book examines the factors that promoted the expansion of the activities of the English double bass makers. These include Handel’s appearance in London and, later, Domenico Dragonetti’s arrival with his famous Gasparo da Salò double bass. This instrument was to set the scene for a boom in English double bass making, lasting for several decades before eventually crashing, an area explored in some detail.

    The impact of Dragonetti and his Gasparo double bass can still be seen today, with the Brescian school the underlying influence for today's English double bass makers. 

    Englands greatest double bass makers

    This book features 100 beautiful double basses from 40 of England's greatest makers.  

    Including: William Baker, John Barrett, John & Arthur Betts, William Booth I & II, James William Briggs, James Brown, The Calow Family, James Cole, George Craske, Thomas Davies, Mark William Dearlove, John Devereux, Thomas Dodd, Richard Duke I, Bernhard Simon Fendt I, Bernhard Simon Fendt II, William Fendt, William Forster II, Simon Andrew Forster, Mathew Furber II, John & Henry John Furber, Samuel Gilkes, William Gilkes, Hart & Son, Hawkes & Son, Joseph Hill I & II, Lockey Hill, William Howarth, Thomas Kennedy, John Frederick Lott I, George Frederick Lott, John Frederick Lott II, Vincenzo Trusiano Panormo, Joseph Panormo, George Panormo, Daniel Parker, William Tarr, William Taylor, Charles Theress and Peter Wamsley.

    Instruments by Vincenzo Trusiano Panormo, John Frederick Lott I and William Tarr are shown in incredible detail on giant size fold out pages.

    Also included are listings of other English double bass makers, contemporary makers, Dragonetti's famous Gasparo da Salò, detailed machine head sections and a double bass maker timeline. 

    Bibliographic data

    Name: The English Double Bass 

    Publisher: Arpeggio Publishing Ltd

    ISBN 978-1-916-4053-0-1  

    Press: Heidelberg 106XL six-colour with coater 

    Paper: Amadeus Primo Gloss 170gsm 

    Page size: 340mm x 240mm 

    Finishing: Case-bound in navy-blue leather, with silver foil blocking to spine and cover 

    Authors: Thomas Martin, George Martin, Martin Lawrence  

    Extent: 524 pages, 766 photographs, four fold-out sections 

    Price: £465 

    Buy your copy

    Secure your numbered leather-bound limited edition of The English Double Bass book, strictly limited to 2,000 copies.


    Price - £465 

    Postage & packaging - £24

    Total - £489 


    Price - £465

    Postage & packaging - £48

    Total - £513 


    Price - £465 

    Postage & packaging - £60

     Total - £525

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