Viola by Louis Lowendall, Dresden, 1888

Viola by Louis Lowendall, Dresden, 1888

About Louis Lowendall

The name Lowendall is synonymous with good-quality German workshop instruments, however the maker himself was actually born Louis Löwenthal! Ever a man with an eye for commercial opportunity, he changed the spelling to make the brand more accessible to the U.S. market.

Löwenthal was a talented cellist who opened a workshop in Berlin in 1855 and an American branch in 1867. He quickly gained a reputation as a dealer and expert in antique instruments as well as selling tonewood and new instruments. The Dresden workshop opened in 1873, employing skilled luthiers most likely trained in nearby Markneukirchen. The Lowendall workshops produced thousands of instruments over a period of more than 50 years, winning awards at the London and Bologna exhibitions.

About the viola

The viola was made in Dresden in 1888 and is modelled after the instruments of Stradivari.

The viola has a two piece back of book-matched, attractively flamed maple. The ribs and scroll are of similar wood. The viola has a two piece front of medium-grain spruce. The varnish is golden-amber in colour and typical of the Lowendall workshop.

This viola is unantiqued and has a length of back of 15 and 3/8 inches.

How does it sound?

This is a powerful viola with great projection and a massive voice that belies its smaller size. A fantastic-sounding instrument, this viola will make someone very happy indeed!


The viola is in mint condition with its original endpin and pegs. It bears the original label, with Lowendall´s signature internally on the back. The label makes reference to the firm´s success at the International Exhibition in Bologna and the Lowendall seal is stamped on the button.

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