Viola by A.S.P. Bernardel, Paris, 1853

Viola by A.S.P. Bernardel, Paris, 1853

About Auguste Sébastien Philippe Bernardel

Auguste Sébastien Philippe Bernardel, also known as Bernardel Père, served his apprenticeship in his hometown of Mirecourt. He then moved to Paris to work for the great Nicolas Lupot and then for Charles François Gand. Bernardel set up on his own in 1826, eventually passing the business on to his two sons. Gustave and Ernest Auguste Bernardel later partnered with Charles Nicolas Eugène Gand to form the enormous Gand & Bernardel Frères firm.

Bernardel Père is now remembered as one of France´s greatest makers, having come to prominence during what could be considered the Golden Era of French violin making.

About the viola

This viola was made in 1853 and is an unusual double-purfled Strad model. It is most likely that the choice of double purfling was a bid to demonstrate the master´s virtuosic purfling technique.

The viola has a one piece back of medium-flamed maple, the figuration descending slightly from right to left. The front is two pieces of fine-grained spruce and the varnish is a dark golden-brown in colour, laid over a lighter golden ground.

The length of back is a manageable 15 inches: as a violinist, this is the kind of viola I love as it reduces the `gap´ between the two instruments somewhat.

How does it sound?

The viola has a warm, rich sound. It is amazingly powerful for a smaller instrument and is even across all registers.


The viola is in excellent restored condition and comes with a detailed condition report.

Further information

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