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Anton Jais Mittenwald viola - Decke
Anton Jais Mittenwald viola - Decke
Anton Jais Mittenwald viola - Decke
Rare Anton Jais viola back
Rare Anton Jais viola back
Anton Jais viola ribs
Anton Jais viola ribs
Fine viola, Mittenwald, approximately 1790 by Anton Jais (scroll view)
Fine viola, Mittenwald, approximately 1790 by Anton Jais (scroll view)
Provenance: Mittenwald
Maker: Anton Jais
Length of back: 37.8 cm
Year: approx. 1790
Tone: Matured, warm

Petite Mittenwald viola by Anton Jais c.1790 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)

This fine petite Anton Jais viola was created around 1790, the heyday of violin making in Mittenwald. It is a rare tribute to the top-tier traditional artisanry that the finest workshops upheld as standards in this influential violin-making region. Amongst these masters was Anton Jais, who played a distinctive role and is unjustifiably unknown. As the son of luthier Franz Jais, he had solid roots in the local Klotz tradition, and his work was defined by a highly nuanced style with distinctive details which reflected influences from Mathias "Hofschmied" Hornsteiner. Jais showed a clear orientation towards Jakob Stainer's model whilst also borrowing from the Italian classic Amati; amongst other things, his outstanding purfling and inlays were one of the characteristics which clearly expressed his personal aesthetic. At a body length of around 38 cm, the rather small model is comfortable to play: its mature, silver sound with warmth and fullness allows musicians to achieve sophisticated interpretations supported by outstanding resonance. The instrument's high musical quality is due in no small part to the premium tone woods Jais selected. The moderately-grained spruce of the top — a typical choice of this luthier, who preferred this kind of wood grain for the tops of his instrument — and the mildly flamed maple of the one-piece back are typical of the Karwendel mountains, and both their appearance and their acoustic properties are compelling. A history of more than 200 years has left traces on the red-brown varnish which give this very well-preserved viola its character and emphasize its flawless antique look. A historic rarity amongst southern German stringed instruments, a viola with only minor repairs, mainly to the ribs, that was painstakingly restored at our specialist atelier and made ready to play. We recommend it warmly to demanding violists.

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