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From the archive: a viola by Jacob Stainer, 1670

Friday, 02 May 2014

This illustration of a viola by Jacob Stainer was published in The Strad, May 1925. The following text is extracted from an article accompanying the photographs:

Mr Posner’s Stainer viola is easily the finest, in every respect, known to me. It measures 16 11/16ths in body length, the upper bouts are 7 15/16ths across, and the lower bouts 9 5/8ths. The sides measure 1 ½ inches full in height at the broad end and 1 7/16ths in the upper bouts; a grandly proportioned instrument, yet handy enough for any player of reasonable stretch of finger and length of arm to play upon.

The varnish on the tenor is glorious and of thoroughly Cremonese type and texture, the colour being a golden red of great transparency.  

In general contour and the lines of the arching the instrument resembles the maker’s best violins.

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