Pieter Rombouts 1667-1740


This excellent maker was the son of Sibilla Barents who married Hendrik Jacobs in 1676. Pieter Rombouts thus became Jacobs' stepson. It is clear that already at an early age Rombouts must have come into contact with violin-making and assisted his stepfather with his work.
Pieter's hand is heavier, although he was a master at the treatment of the fluting and channelling which runs along the outlines of top and back. His purfling is wider, and although neatly done, it is rather less delicate than that of Jacobs. His heads also differ from those, made by his teacher, in that they are a little bolder of form. An interesting characteristic of his heads is their narrowness at the top of the back, widening considerably towards the lower end as is in the case with the works by the Carcassi brothers.
Rombouts has also made a number of fine violas and viola da gambas. A beautiful specimen (dated 1708) of the latter is on show at the Municipal Museum at the Hague. Its marvellously preserved light red varnish is particulary striking and reminiscent of the finest early-Italian varnishes. Of special interest is his label which has not been printed with a wooden block like the labels of the majority of the old masters, but - judging by its outstanding clear characters, an engraved metal block must have been used. Of the Dutch masters, Gosewijn Spijker too, used to use an elegant calligraphed metal block.

From: The Violin-makers of the Low Countries, by Max Möller, Amsterdam (1955)