tktitle.gif (4417 bytes)
Maker of Violins, Violas and Cellos

 Dr. Peleg Austin Matteson Violin

Click on any image to enlarge

Dr. Peleg Austin Matteson made this, his 8th violin, by hand in 1910 while living in Bennington, Vermont. He was a full time dentist in the town of Bennington, and had an avid interest in making violins. The back is from highly flamed red maple from trees cut in southern Vermont.  The top is of medium grained spruce.  The instrument has a robust, warm round sound and is in excellent condition. 




Peleg Austin Matteson 

Peleg Austin Matteson was born in 1882 in Shaftsbury, Vermont, the only son in a multi-generational family of Vermont farmers. Early in life he acquired a love of music along with other career shaping, non-agricultural interests.

Shortly after 1900, Peleg (who later became known as "Doc") gave up farming, much to his father's disappointment, and enrolled in the Albany College of Pharmacy, from which he graduated in 1906. For several years thereafter, Peleg practiced pharmacy in Auburn, New York. During this time he met his beloved wife, Mollie. Peleg's love for music, especially violins, grew. Being very skillful with his hands and also having an innate sense of things artistic, he took up not only violin playing but also violin making.

Over several years Peleg made a number of violins, well over a dozen in all. Some he destroyed as unworthy but the better ones he kept, labeled, and numbered. Number 8 was one of these, kept until his death and passed along to his son.

Following several years as a pharmacist, Peleg decided to go into medicine, first aiming to become a GP but later going for dentistry. He graduated at the top of his class from Baltimore Medical College, part of the University of Maryland, in 1912. Thereafter, for well over a half-century, he practiced dentistry in Bennington, Vermont, becoming known as the "Dean of Dentists."

Throughout his life, Doc retained his love for violins, violin making, restoring and playing. Even in his last years he tinkered with violins and continued to play, not outstandingly well but certainly lovingly.

Submitted by Bob Matteson (Peleg's son)
Bennington, Vermont, September 2004


About Thurmond

Woods and Materials

for Sale

Hand made instruments



Shop Staff







Violinmaking School