The collector, who wants to remain anonymous, purchased the Kested violin from a woman originally from the Fonda area. The instrument is playable but has a small crack on the back. Inside is a label indicating it was made by “A. Kested, Fonda, N.Y.” in 1893.
The fiddle’s back and sides are made from maple and the front is made from a tight-grained spruce. The peg board and other parts are ebony. It is likely that the ebony parts were ordered from a catalog.
Born in Broadalbin in 1861 to Henry and Lydia Lansing Kested, Arch Kested married Charlotte Craig in 1891. He became proficient in “hand wood turning,” according to his 1940 obituary. For years he was a woodworker at “the old steam mill” in Fonda. His obituary stated, “For many years he was recognized as an expert in the art of violin making and was consulted by many people who possessed violins of various makes.”best offer, Arch Kested Dies at Home - Near Fonda
Was Recognized as Expert In Violin Making; Formerly Was Largest Ginseng Grower;
FONDA, July 29.—Arch Keated. 79, died Sunday morning at 1:15 o'clock at his home on the Fonda Johnstown road. He was born in the Town of Broadalbin on March 18, 1861, a son of Henry Ward Kested and Lydia Lansing. Hand wood-turning was Mr. Kested's trade. In this art he excelled. For many years he was recognized as an expert in the art of violin making and was consulted by many people who possessed violins of various makes. He was also employed for a number of years as a wood-turner in the old steam mill in Fultonville. About 23 years ago Mr. Kested was the largest ginseng grower in this country. In the passing of Mr. Kested there Is a loss that will be keenly felt, not duly in this village in which he lived, but the surrounding territory. His genial personality and his kindness endeared him to a large circle of friends and acquaintances. As a friend he was always loyal and dependable. On May 7, 1891, he was united in marriage at Fultonville to Charlotte Craig, daughter of Henry and Mary R. Craig, who survives him, together with three sons. Manning and Arthur Kested, Fonda, and Harold Kested, Gloversvllle; three daughters, Mrs. Frances K. Jewell, Watertown, Miss Mildred Kested, Washington, D. C, and Mrs. Leona K. Darrow, Delmar, N. Y.; six . grandsons and one granddaughter. The body was removed to tho Jackson funeral home on Prospect Street where the funeral services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, E.S.T. Interment will be made in the family plot In the Evergreen Cemetery on the Sand Flats.
EVENING RECORDER, AMSTERDAM N.Y. MONDAY. JULY 29. 1940