A Mittenwald Small Viola circa 1830


Mittenwald Small ViolaThis is a very attractive small viola made in Mittenwald in the early 1800s. It’s in good condition and it has surprisingly warm and full sound.

These smaller Mittenwald violas are very popular – they look good and they sound good. This example has the typical “one-piece” construction – one-piece front, one-piece back, one-piece bottom rib (though the bottom rib has been turned into a two-piece at a later date). It could have been made any time after 1800 but the lack of a scroll graft points more towards a date after 1820 or so.

The condition is generally very good but there are two bending cracks in the bass side, and there’s a button repair. Otherwise no cracks or damages and very little wear – the varnish is entirely original and very well preserved.

At 38cm I was expecting a much smaller sound – obviously an instrument of this size is never going to have the same character as a big viola, but it plays very well. The C string is gutsy, the middle register is warm and sonorous, and the upper register is quite solistic. It has a mature and rounded sound, but with a nice bite to the start of the note. It’s quite resistant, you can play with a strong bow, and it doesn’t seem to suffer from the flappiness of some smaller instruments.

All in all a very happy viola, and an ideal choice for a talented youngster or serious amateur.

Dimensions: length of back 38cm, vibrating string 34.8cm

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Mittenwald Small Viola front photo Mittenwald Small Viola back photo Mittenwald Small Viola side photo Mittenwald Small Viola scroll photo

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Ref: SR261

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