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French Viola - Stolen


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Passing info along from a fellow violist, Melissa Dunphy, in Philly.  If not posted in the right place, please let me know and I will try to fix.


"My friend Nancy, a community member of the Penn orchestra, had her house broken into and along with three laptops HER VIOLA WAS STOLEN. I am utterly incensed on her behalf. I'm waiting on a better picture from her so I can post it on every social network I know, because surely if the internet can do anything, it can get this woman's viola back. In the meantime, here are some details from Nancy:

A viola of French origin, possibly made by Cesar Pons, Paris, ca 1790, bearing a facsimile label: “Giovanni Grancino, Milan, 1696”


Body length: 40.4 cm
Upper bout width: 19.2 cm
Center bout width: 13.4 cm
Lower bout width: 23.4 cm

The peg box is distinctive in that the original holes were filled and new holes were drilled. John Safian of NJ did major repairs (gluing seams and cracks) last year, and his name is on the bridge.

The bow is German and the stick was repaired up near the tip.

The instrument was stolen Nov 30, 2014, between 6 and 8 PM; its empty case was found abandoned a couple of blocks away the next morning."


Nancy with viola

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Sorry to hear about this. I hope it's recovered. The fact that the empty case was found blocks away tells me that, yet again, the thief was aware that cases can have GPS locators hidden in them, and acted accordingly. Which yet again calls into question the ultimate value of such things.

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Do you have any more info on the bow/s? There are lots of German bows out there with repairs. If the bow people know what to look for we might be able to locate the thief or viola also.


Hi Kate -


Thanks for advice - I posted your question back on fb to see if I can get details on the bow/s.



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