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Viola (probably converted from a 'lira da braccio')

This viola has probably been adapted from a lira da braccio. The single corners, marking the beginning of the lower bouts, are commonly found on sixteenth-century lire da braccio, but the f-holes, pegbox, scroll, and maple ribs with overhanging back and front, both arching outwards, are also characteristic of the violin family. It has four strings, tuned like the modern viola. The short neck, fingerboard, and tailpiece are not original. The pegbox and scroll, grafted onto the neck, are of authentic design but may not be original. The instrument formerly belonged to the Este family in Modena.

  • Date:
  • Maker:
    Bertolotti da Salò, Gasparo
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Brescia (Timezone: Europe/Rome)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:maple, pine
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark: Gasparo da Salo, in Brescia / 1561 (Printed label with the date added in ink [not original])
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:415.5 mm of back length; 211 mm upper bout (back) width; 155.5 mm middle bout (back) width; 257.5 mm lower bout (back) width; 353.5 mm string length