Violas

Our current selection of violas, including our new handmade instruments, contemporary/ 20th century and antique violas. We specialise in small violas for adult players.

Bohemian Small Viola, circa 1900

£5,000

Czech viola probably by a member of the Prokop familyProbably by a member of the Prokop family, this is a late 19th century Czech viola made on a Maggini model. It’s in great condition apart form a few dents and scuffs to the varnish. A very handy size, it has a dark and fruity sound, slightly melancholic, very musical. More details


Mittenwald Small Viola, circa 1850

£6,000

Mittenwald Viola, circa 1850An unusually attractive Mittenwald viola in near perfect condition. One piece front and back, no cracks or damages, the original varnish very well preserved though with heavy craquelure to the scroll. The tone is big, bright and smooth with great response – recently set up to a high standard by Stringers of London. More details


Mittenwald Small Viola circa 1830

Recently sold

Mittenwald Small ViolaA fine sounding small viola from the early 19th century in near-mint condition. More details


František Karel Križ Viola, Prague 1924

On trial, £8,000

Prague school violaFK Križ was one of the most talented Czech makers of the early 20th century, with a rare gift for sound. This del Gesu inspired viola is a great example of his work in near perfect condition. More details


Nicolas Augustin Chappuy Small Viola circa 1770

£12,000

Nicolas Augustin Chappuy Small ViolaThis is a fine 18th century French viola of the “Vieux Paris” school. It has a very credible Guersan label but in fact it’s the work of Nicolas Chappuy showing many of his trademark touches. More details


John Wilkinson Viola, London circa 1930

£15,000

John Wilkinson ViolaJohn Wilkinson was a highly talented English maker of the early 20th century, best known for the copies of classical instruments he made for J&A Beare. This viola is a lovely example of his copy style. More details


Caspar Strnad Viola, Prague 1819

On trial, £22,500

Caspar Strnad ViolaI have to admit to being completely obsessed by the Prague School, and in particular the instruments of Caspar Strnad and his contemporaries or co-workers. Consistently adventurous in model, with exquisite workmanship and great tone, these instruments are generally rather better than Italian violins of the period. More details


Albert Caressa Viola, Paris 1922

£22,500

Albert Caressa ViolaAlbert Caressa and Henri Français took over and renamed the firm of Gand & Bernardel in 1901. Français retired in 1920, and for the remainder of his working life Caressa made instruments for the company under his own name. This lovely viola dates from this last period of Caressa’s working life. More details


Joseph Couturieux Viola, Paris circa 1850

£30,000

Parisian violaJoseph Couturieux or Couturieux “Fils” is a little known maker who worked briefly for JB Vuillaume. This beautiful viola is something of an enigma – it has a Vuillaume label, it looks in many ways like a Vuillaume, yet it has an original Couturieux signature. More details


Gand & Bernardel Viola, Paris 1888

£45,000

Gand & Bernardel ViolaGand & Bernardel were the largest and most prestigious Parisian workshop of the late 19th century. To a great extent they took on the mantle of JB Vuillaume, adopting similar working practices, employing excellent makers and also producing beautiful bows. More details


Gustave Bernardel Viola, Paris 1894

£45,000

Gustave Bernardel ViolaIt would be hard to find a more perfect example of French craftsmanship than this fine viola by Gustave Berarndel. It’s a real collector’s piece too, relatively unused and with a great sound. More details


Claude-Augustin Miremont Viola, Paris 1870

£47,500

Claude-Augustin Miremont ViolaFor some reason CA Miremont managed to produce instruments of superb tonal quality while those around him sometimes struggled. In particular his violas and cellos are consistently successful and greatly appreciated. More details


Johannes Theodorus Cuypers Viola, Den Haag (The Hague) 1777

On trial, £70,000

Johannes Theodorus Cuypers ViolaJohannes Theodorus Cuypers is perhaps the best known and most respected maker of the Dutch School, and there are few non-Italian makers who command such admiration amongst players and experts alike. This is a really fine example from his best period, before he had his rather less dedicated sons to help him! More details


Paolo Castello Small Viola, Genoa circa 1770

Price on application

A Small Viola by Paolo Castello, Genoa circa 1770This is an outstanding 18th century Italian viola by Paolo Castello. Castello attracts quite a varied response from connoisseurs and antiquarians, mainly on account of his idiosyncratic scrolls, but I’m a big fan. Every instrument of his that I’ve played has sounded good, and most are outstanding. This viola is a fine example of his work, very similar to the one featured in Alberto Giordano’s seminal article in the Strad. More details


Jean Baptiste Vuillaume Viola, Paris 1845

Price on application

Jean Baptiste Vuillaume ViolaJB Vuillaume can truly be said to have revolutionised the world of stringed instruments. No-one has had quite as much impact on violin-making since Stradivari. He rode a wave of demand, largely of his own creating, and produced thousands of instruments and bows of extremely high quality. In the process he trained up an entire generation of fine makers. More details


Choosing a viola? We specialise in small violas…

Although most of our prejudices about instruments filter down from the current orchestral fashions, there are many situations in which a large soundbox is of no particular benefit, and where a big viola just proves unwieldy. Klezmer, traditional and gypsy musicians tend to favour small instruments, as do classical musicians who are answerable only to themselves! More details


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