Built in Concord, New Hampshire
Restoration Completed September, 2011
Upper Bout: 23″
C Bout: 20″ 5/8ths
Lower Bout: 28″
Length of Back: 48″
at neck block: 6″ 3/8ths
at the break: 8″ 3/8ths
end block: 8″ 5/8ths
Not a lot is known about Abraham Prescott, but based on our collective research we believe this is a thorough history of the Prescott Workshop. We found more information could be found while researching Prescott Pianos and Organs than his Viols and Church Basses. We will try to update this listing as more information is learned and dates are solidified.
Abraham Prescott (1789-1858) A young Abraham grew up just over the Massachusetts border in in Deerfield, New Hampshire where he often worked in his Uncles woodworking shop. At an early age it is believed he took up the violin and learned about the construction of orchestral stringed instruments from his own fiddle. It is thought he began making fiddles at a very early age
and soon switch to building viols for local churches and musicians. These early “Deerfield” Prescott’s show quite a bit of individuality from instrument to instrument as the young maker was perfecting his craft and refining the models.
Based on the great variety of instruments made, along with the tales the instruments tell us when examining the construction, Prescott was working without forms and templates. His business grew and the addition of workers (Dearborn Brothers) began Prescott as more of a manufacturer of instruments. The Dearborn’s had perhaps some better training and the instruments made during this time have a greater sense of refinement. In the early 1830’s Abraham moved the workshop from Deerfield to Concord, New Hampshire to expand his production and by the mid to late 1830’s began the construction of Melodians and eventually
Organs. By 1850 Abraham retired and left the business to his sons and in 1858 the firm became The Prescott Brothers, and it may be that the string instrument portion of the business was sold off and/or continued by the Dearborn Brothers under their own name, but the production of orchestral instruments appears to have been over by the 1860’s? In the 1870’s the business became the Prescott Organ Company but by 1886 Organs had been all but sidelined as the production of Piano’s was in full swing so by the 1890’s the Prescott Piano Company became the official name with the listed officers being Willis Thompson (President) and George D.B. Prescott (Treasurer). In 1896 the Concord facility was completely lost to fire and a new workshop was equipped in a warehouse close to the original workshop. The company had a large distribution and dealer base throughout North America but eventually was out of business around the 1920’s.