An Interesting 20th Century Viola, Probably Hungarian. 15 5/8”

Immediately striking, one becomes enamored by the richly textured depth of color imbued by the varnish, highly translucent and revealing, offering clear view of the tight even grained spruce of the table, finer still at the edges of the broader bottom bout. The eyes are then drawn to the lower wings of f holes, fluted through in an idiosyncratic manner, with the lightening of the raised edges producing a surprisingly charming effect. The instrument evokes a sense of intrinsic age, demonstrating details of craftsmanship which indicate earlier 20th century stylings, altogether belied by significantly more recent antiquing which makes any approximation of age exactly that, a best guess. The bottom block has been bushed, with a circular patch to the corresponding ribs, and the center seam may have been repaired - stable and hidden by the tailpiece: presenting in otherwise well preserved condition. Presumably, the secondary antiquing took place along with these repairs, at which point a false Mougenot label was added to the belly. Whereas this viola has some decidedly Bohemian inflections, such as the profile of of the scroll from behind, the concentricity of the volutes, f holes, edge work, etc., point me in the direction of Hungary, where many interesting  ‘copies’ were made in the 20th century. This interesting anonymous viola has a two piece back measuring 396.5mm or roughly 15 5/8.” It boasts a colorful voice that is quick to respond and supple to heavier resistance from the bow arm.

Detailed Measurements:

Length of Back - 396.5 mm.

Upper Bout - 187 mm.

Lower Bout - 231 mm.

String length 364 mm.  

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