Johannes 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!
The condition is spectacular – a small and very neatly repaired crack in the treble c-bout rib and a couple of minor edge cracks in the table (at the right of the saddle and either side of the fingerboard on the top edge), but the edges and corners are beautifully preserved, and the characteristic golden varnish is exemplary.
Cuypers is such a popular maker because his instruments tend to sound great, and I’m happy to say that this viola is something special. The back length is modest, but the instrument is very broad, the arching is well considered, and the spruce is first rate. The net result is a very powerful instrument with a warm, fruity but sparkling sound, superb projection, very rapid attack and a solid core. Hold back on the gas and it has a unique buttery smoothness to the sound. Very versatile, very easy to play, but with a big viola sound.
Not to beat about the bush, this is a top level instrument suitable for a very demanding player
Length of Back 40cm, stop 142/218mm
Certificate: Certificate : Chardon & Fils, Paris 1950, Andreas Post, Amsterdam (pro forma)
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