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Fine Prague viola, 18th century, prob. Johann Willer
A rare antique Prague viola of the late 18th century. The instrument is a fine masterpiece from around 1790/1800, likely made by the hands of Johann Willer (1735-1826), one of the best Prague makers of the time. The instrument is despite a repair label unlabeled, but carries the number 503 stamped into the fingerboard. The viola has a short length of ~38 cm and is rather suitable for small players. The varnish is an oil varnish of a deep dark red color, the varnish is beautifully craquelled. The top is despite two minor f/-wing repairs undamaged, ribs and neck are in perfect condition. The back is a later Prague work from around 1900, the back inside patched but no soundpost crack. The viola has a rare, colorful sound of a warm, rather bright character with beautiful clarity and very good volume. The sound is especially well-balanced.