Carlo Giuseppe Testore? - ID

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I would like to present you a very expensive viola that belonged to my violin teacher.

Is a professional violist and plays as a soloist with the leading orchestras around the world.

 The instrument - Viola 42.2 CM Bought many years ago and up to this day my teacher trying to find out who built the viola.


Expert from London have verified that wood that made up the instrument are the same wood used by  Testore but the shape of the viola does not match the style of construction.


Speculated that the viola was built in 1720-1750


Suggestions are welcome  :D






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To be honest, looks like a mish mash of styles by a modern maker.

Double purfled but with long mitres, odd. F holes are very del Gesu, odd. 

Front looks exceedingly flat, got a scroll photo ?


The edge work at chin rest area has a scribe mark which would have worn away if it were very old. 




I was told that The scroll is irrelevant because it is not authentic

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I can't for the life of me see what Ben sees ... it looks like a lovely old instrument, though the varnish is a bit shiny for my taste!

It's interesting how often Testore labels crop up in violas from this period - I suppose people think that the Testore family made such crazy stuff, anything will pass as a Testore.

I've had a couple of such instruments, also with Landolfi labels or other more obscure Milanese makers.

I think Fuessen is the most likely provenance, though it would be good to know what the inner work looks like and what exactly the dendro said ....

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Hi David, I like how this violin looks, are you happy with how it sounds. I think it is a bit on the expensive side, can your teacher look at it and give an opinion to help you with your decision?


It's David's teachers viola.  Not David's.  They are looking to see who might have made it.


That back is outstanding. Certainly not testore - among other things he hated to purfle so there's no way he'd go double! Lovely instrument nonetheless. How's it play?


I'm only I learn.  Why is the back outstanding?


I love double purfling. :wub:  Dunno why...

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The original “Testore” suggestion is of course risible. Roger wrote a fine article, in what he considered to be easily understandable English, in the Strad magazine , June 2004 pages 598/605, + Poster, where he details about two dozen Testore features, an absolute gold-mine for box tickers (who will get to tick nothing here!) This article is reproduced on his web-site (unfortunately without pictures) in the “Bibliothek” section under the title “Thrills without frills”
Having started with the ridiculous Testore suggestion, this thread rather ruined my breakfast by swivelling effortlessly to “Brescia”. Don't you realise that from ca. 1700 on, violins/violas were made in the whole of Europe, and that, for instance, “Maggini” models were popular with 19th. C copyists? Should I participate in any violin “quiz”, I prefer to judge if the scroll belongs to the body myself.

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Before even to speculate where and when the viola was made, it's usually necessary (like many times established at this fori before) to know about some essential details of construction, as there are rib joints, form and wood of blocks and linings, one piece or cut lower rib, saddle, etc. etc. Even a view of the scroll, if supposed to be original or not, would be informative.


Without this we are restricted to some very common, but worthless stereotypes like


plain maple - Milano

double purfling and straight ff - Brescia

scratched and "good sounding" - very old and italian


not to mention the second hand opinions of unnamed London experts.


All of those features were, just as Jacob wrote, widespread all over the violin making countries and periods of whole Europe, so I actually can't see any reason why the viola shouldn't be ascribed to a much later period and much different place than suspected in the OP.

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Hard to see whether or not some edge has been replaced. The annual rings don't always appear to line up very well.

Is this one such spot?


Mark's comment about the inner line of purfling being possibly later is interesting

but could there be other reasons for the apparent differences at some points?



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