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Viola d'amore

Viola d'Amore are seven or six stringed musical instruments dated mainly around the first half of the 18th Century and played overall like a violin.Viola d'amore are very similar to viols in shape and they both have a flat back. Unlike viols they often have sound holes shaped as a flaming sword. The peculiarity of this type of instrument is that it has sympathetic strings, placed below the main strings, which create a subtlen background drone, giving the instrument a sound similar to a hurdy-gurdy but with more subtlety and a better quality of sound. This viola d'amore is made of maple, while the belly is made of pine.The back is made out of one piece and it is flat. It has seven playing strings and six sympathetic strings below, tuned by pegs. It has double purfling and it is covered with a golden brown varnish. In the peg box it has the reference number k270 of Messrs William E. Hill and Sons, 140 New bond Street, London, who say , in a letter of 18th February 1950, that the instrument is described as old German. It was sold by them "many years ago". This viola d'amore was made in the late 18th century. It is conserved in a leather case lined with purple velvet. On the lining there is a tag bearing William E. Hill & Sons 140 New Bond Street, London.

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    late 18th century
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    Tullie House
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  • Period:late 18th century
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  • Repository:Tullie House