Viola made in Mittenwald, circa 1870
This viola has now sold.
About Mittenwald instrumentsMittenwald has been one of the centres of German violin making since the mid-17th century. The first violin maker to set up his workshop in the town was Matthias Klotz, father of the enormous Klotz dynasty. By the mid-1850s there were more than 25 luthiers with the surname Klotz registered to the town!
Other luthiers also flocked to the area, attracted not only by its reputation but also by the availability of locally grown spruce and maple which grew near to the small town in the mountains. This wood was of extremely high quality, comparable to that of Alpine wood used by the Italian masters.
Throughout the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, Germany produced an enormous number of instruments. A lot of these were made in workshops and by cottage industry, and can be useful, affordable instruments. These outnumbered more glamorous, individually made instruments such as this one. Consequently, the price of all German instruments from this time tends to be kept lower, making this viola exceptional value for money.
About the violaThis viola was made in Mittenwald around 1870. It is a particularly nice example of Mittenwald work from this period, with excellent wood and a full sound.
The viola has a two piece back of book-matched maple, the flame descending from the centre joint. The front is two pieces of high-quality spruce. The varnish is a rich chocolate colour which has worn down to the lighter ground with use.
The viola measures a healthy 15 and 7/8 inches, giving lots of sound but remaining comfortable for slightly smaller players.
How does it sound?The instrument is big, warm and comfortable to play.
ConditionThe viola is in excellent condition.