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Czech master viola, circa 1900
Czech master viola, circa 1900
Provenance: Czechoslovakia
Maker: Unknown
Length of back: 39.5 cm
Year: approx. 1900
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Czech master viola, Bohemia, approx. 1900

The expressive elegance of this old Czech master viola reflects the faithful orientation its craftsman showed towards the Italian models which reached the pinnacle of their influence on the violin-making craft of the 19th century. At the same time, the instrument is unmistakably the work of a fin de siècle master from Bohemia. A typical hallmark and self-confident manifestation of this viola's provenance is its broad purfling, the dynamic elegance of the sound holes positioned close to the edge, and the tastefully and painstakingly carved scroll. These features are all linked to the rich musical culture which was especially common in Czech cities. By selecting this finely grained spruce for the top and the deeply flamed maple for the one-piece back, the unknown master demonstrated craftsman experience and a refined aesthetic sensibility. The radiant brown varnish on a golden background protects and flatters these excellent tone woods. A minimal repair was made on the back but has no impact on the sound. This viola has been kept in excellent condition and was thoroughly worked over by the restorers in our atelier. It is now ready to play, and it can be recommended thanks to its rather bright, warm and clear sound.

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