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The Lion-head Viola is Finished!

Posted by Chet Bishop on Monday, September 23, 2013

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All Done!

As always, I am sure there are things I may do differently next time, particularly with the hand-carved lion-head, but, overall, I am satisfied with the results on this viola. It plays easily, has a big, deep voice, and is becoming more responsive day by day. Here are some photos:

Completed lion head viola, front view.
Completed lion head viola, front view.

 

Side view Lion-head viola
Side view Lion-head viola

 

Back view Lion-head viola
Back view Lion-head viola

 

Treble-side Lion-head Scroll
Treble-side Lion-head Scroll

 

Bass side Lion-head Scroll
Bass side Lion-head Scroll

 

Three-quarter view Lion-Head Scroll
Three-quarter view Lion-Head Scroll

 

The style is closely related to the Andrea Guarneri "Conte Vitale", but has been changed significantly enough that it is simply my own design, hence the "Oliver" model designation. It definitely qualifies as a large viola, so only players who are comfortable with a big viola will like it, but, that being said, it is a relatively easy-playing viola, too.

I realize that lion-head scrolls are not terribly conventional, but I also remind myself that Jacob Stainer made a few lion-head instruments, and a whole bunch of German copyists followed his lead...still they are maybe one in a thousand.  I changed one last thing and attempted a little more realism. Perhaps it will be difficult to sell; I don't know. But it is one of the best violas I have made, and I trust someone will eventually see it as the one they have been waiting for. :-)

Thanks for looking. 



2 comments on “The Lion-head Viola is Finished!”

martynspeck Says:
Monday, September 23, 2013 @2:32:00 PM

Sweet!

Chet Bishop Says:
Monday, September 23, 2013 @5:55:43 PM

Thanks, Martyn...I'm glad it is done...it has been a long time coming. :-)

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