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Hello all,

 

I bought this instrument from eBay and received it the other day. 

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-early-Viola-John-Collins-2-pic-back-/162005324704

 

For starters, I apologise for not posting images, but I need to make ten posts beforehand. Nine to go. :)

 

Once I am permitted to post images, I have a large number of high-quality photographs of the instrument, which I will then post.

 

I intend to restore this instrument, as I believe it is worthy. However, I would very much appreciate any and all observations about it, especially about provenience and appropriate restoration. 

 

Thank you in advance!

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A big old, folksy viola. Cool, I wish I would have seen it myself.

 

I'm very glad you didn't!  :)

 

To my limited knowledge about gambas, and player's familiarity with violas, this instrument is much more gamba than viola. Have you more detailed thoughts about that? The (much) higher quality images I'm posting should help.

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I'm very glad you didn't!  :)

 

To my limited knowledge about gambas, and player's familiarity with violas, this instrument is much more gamba than viola. Have you more detailed thoughts about that? The (much) higher quality images I'm posting should help.

you made it! and  welcome to MN. I saw this instrument right before leaving on my trip .Anderew you might get more views starting this topic in the pegbox, many of use don't spend much time in the auction scroll .  without pic's I'd Like to give something of a description and a few points I thought of interest , 

 1 no purfling , not even inked 

2 the neck is set with intrigel through block, the ribs inlet into sides of the block , as well the ribs appear to be set into the back as well , there are reminants of the trench clearly showing on the back. 

 3 the scroll seems to have a very Brescian look about it , with a very open throat area and little to no chamfer.

4 there are connecting "rods" from the tips of the ff wings to the arch, they appear original , one seems to be a repaired replacement . 

5 there are no linnings , never were , the replacement lower bout measured in at 2.37 mm

6 the varnish has some chipped areas on the back reveling a clean ground , 

7 top seems like it might be slab cut , but there is a lot of grim obscuring details . 

8 feels old , not master made , but made with some background in luthier work.

NMM has one that is very similar in the rawlins gallery called  a violin cello picalo.

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you made it! and  welcome to MN. I saw this instrument right before leaving on my trip .Anderew you might get more views starting this topic in the pegbox, many of use don't spend much time in the auction scroll .  without pic's I'd Like to give something of a description and a few points I thought of interest , 

 1 no purfling , not even inked 

2 the neck is set with intrigel through block, the ribs inlet into sides of the block , as well the ribs appear to be set into the back as well , there are reminants of the trench clearly showing on the back. 

 3 the scroll seems to have a very Brescian look about it , with a very open throat area and little to no chamfer.

4 there are connecting "rods" from the tips of the ff wings to the arch, they appear original , one seems to be a repaired replacement . 

5 there are no linnings , never were , the replacement lower bout measured in at 2.37 mm

6 the varnish has some chipped areas on the back reveling a clean ground , 

7 top seems like it might be slab cut , but there is a lot of grim obscuring details . 

8 feels old , not master made , but made with some background in luthier work.

NMM has one that is very similar in the rawlins gallery called  a violin cello picalo.

 

Hi Mike! Thank you for the observations and the suggestion. I'll take care of that and post the new thread link here.

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This has all the features of a violin family instrument, and nothing that suggests to me that it has anything to do with the viol family. But you never know what the maker may have intended when you see a viola this big. 

 

It looks to me to be an American instrument from New England, New York, or Philly area. From one of the guys that made "church basses".   

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