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Small French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849
Small French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849
Small French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849
Petite French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849 - back
Petite French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849 - back
Petite French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849 - ribs
Petite French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849 - ribs
Petite French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849 - scroll
Petite French viola: Didier Nicolas, Mirecourt, 1849 - scroll
Provenance: Mirecourt
Maker: Joseph Nicolas fils
Length of back: 38.6 cm
Year: 1849
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WORKED OVER AND IMPORVED French viola, Joseph Nicolas fils, 1849

Joseph Nicolas fils crafted this historic instrument, a lovely French viola with an unusually attractive aesthetic, in 1849. At this time he was managing the highly-regarded workshop of his father Didier Nicolas L‘Ainé, a responsibility he had assumed after Didier Nicolas’ death in 1833 and ultimately passed on to Honoré Derazey and Justin Derazey in 1864. This viola’s provenance is deeply rooted in the family dynasties and student-teacher relations of the sophisticated artistry that shaped the rich traditions of the violin making town Mirecourt, resulting here in a typically fine instrument which self-confidently reflects its heritage in its low ribs and drawn-out beesting corners. The elegantly carved sound holes and the rich, glossy coat of dark reddish-brown oil varnish round out the viola’s distinctive character, which also features the traces of use that are a badge of honour after generations of intense use by skilled musicians. The original brand mark by Didier Nicolas, a signature and date inside the body all confirm the authenticity of this viola, which was maintained in perfect condition and kept crack-free. It has since been thoroughly set up and made ready to play by the experts in our workshop. Given its outstanding state, it can articulate all of the aspects of its well-defined clear and silvery tone – a mature, balanced voice with moderate volume which allows musicians to play precise interpretations.

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