An Interesting Italian Viola, Early 20th Century, 16 5/8”
Featuring a robust yet delightfully translucent red varnish over a bright amber ground, this early 20th century viola is somewhat of a mystery. It was sold to me several years ago by a prominent musician from New York City, who had presumed it French. There are details that would certainly earn a few nods in that direction but the larger consensus places provenance in Italy, more specifically, Napoli.
It’s characteristics are idiosyncratic but indisputably refined, which should make for an easy identification for someone with more specialization in this area than myself. It boasts a back length of 422mm, or close to 16 5/8ths” but remains remarkably easy to navigate because of its sharply sloped and rather slender shoulders (UB: 194mm); with a string length of exactly 15” and a lower bout measurement of 243mm.
It’s voice has a characteristic smoothness across a sweet and earthy demeanor; always full, with ample depth and clarity - a true viola voice which can easily portray characters of both tenor or alto quality with ease.
Recently refitted with a rosewood tailpiece, complete with brass shield, to match its original pegs, with a titanium tailgut and matching fine tuner to streamline weight and allow uninhibited reverberation; with a Larson A, vision D and G, and Spirocore C.
Competitively priced at $9,500.