We have a wide variety of violas available for sale in our showroom. Every viiola has been restored and set up to the best possible playing standard. We encourage you to come and try our violas, and you can take items away on appraisal to ensure you find the right viola for your playing style and aspirations.
Please note that bows and cases are NOT included with the viola unless indicated.
Showing all 8 results
S491 “D. Soriot”, Mirecourt, France, early twentieth century$ 3,000.00
Violas labelled “D. Soriot” were part of a superior range of instruments made in the Laberte workshops in Mirecourt from the late nineteenth century onwards. This is a relatively late example and probably dates from the 1920’s. The red-brown varnish typical of Mirecourt production is here shaded slightly to simulate handling wear, giving a more lively appearance than usual. The tone is resonant and even across all four strings, with a strong bass register, given the relatively small size of this viola. At just over 15 ½”, it will suit a younger player moving into their first serious instrument.
Start sale price: $3,000.00
S469 Henry Jay (II) viola, London, 1758$ 6,500.00
Henry Jay (II), not to be confused with the much earlier luthier Henry Jaye, was probably a pupil of the prominent English maker Peter Walmsley. The model and varnish are typical of mid-eighteenth century, middle-grade English work, strongly influenced by the Stainer-School German makers of the time, with broad arching that contrasts with the narrow edges, and an elegant but distinctive scroll. The back length is only 384mm or 15 1/16”, but the tone is unexpectedly large for such a small viola, with a woody vibrancy that is very attractive.
Start sale price: $6,500.00
S234, Viola, “Malcolm Collins”, #20, Upper Hutt, New Zealand, 1985
This is a relatively early viola by esteemed Upper Hutt violin maker Malcolm Collins – last year (2014) Malcolm made viola #60. A viola player himself, Malcolm has always been eager to keep his violas within a manageable size while enhancing depth and richness of tone. To this end, he favours a medium body size, broad bouts and deep ribs. The workmanship of this instrument is exquisite, as ever, and the pale gold varnish enhances the wood without hiding any detail.
S328 Anthony Elmsly viola
A 2016 instrument by specialist viola maker Anthony Elmsly. With a body length of 41.3cm (41.6 over the arch) this is a classic, manageably sized instrument, with the design based on some of the most successful alto sized models in history; the much copied “Conte Vitale” and “Primrose” violas by Andrea Guarneri. The sound of this instrument is strong and even across the range.
S405 viola Thomas Warren, #44, New Zealand, 1991$ 10,000.00
Palmerston North luthier Thomas Warren, or Tom as he is known to New Zealand violin aficionados, studied violin making under Ian Sweetman, and quickly established himself as one of our most accomplished violin makers. His copies of the “Hellyer” Stradivari are technical masterpieces, and sound excellent into the bargain. This 16 ¼ viola is numbered #44 and is a very good example of his work; not only is the workmanship meticulous, the tone is resonant, with fullness on the lower strings and clarity in the treble register.
Start sale price: $10,000.00
B918 Adrian Studer, Nelson 1990
It isn’t often we feature the owner of an instrument but this viola and its player have played such an important role in Dunedin’s musical life we feel the following biography needs no apology. Jack Speirs studied composition, music history, conducting, violin and viola in Edinburgh and Berlin before taking up a lectureship in music at the University of Otago in 1965. He was well-known as a violin and viola teacher, composer, orchestral and chamber music player, and soloist. He was musical director of the Dunedin Civic orchestra, now the Southern Sinfonia, for 15 years. This viola has a rich, warm, clear sound with a strong, projecting bass. As with all Studer’s instruments it is beautifully made.
S325 Malcolm Collins #63, New Zealand, 2016$ 12,500.00
Malcolm Collins, one of New Zealand’s most prolific professional violin makers, is also a keen amateur viola player, and viola making is particularly close to his heart. This viola is numbered #63, and to our knowledge, while it is the 63rd to leave his bench, it is by no means the last to do so. With this instrument, Collins has continued exploring how to maximise body air volume and therefore bass response, while achieving a relative ease of playing. The lower bout is particularly broad, but the string length will suit players with a shorter arm length and smaller hand.
Start sale price: $12,500.00
S398 15″ viola, unlabelled, Klotz School, Mittenwald, mid-late eighteenth century$ 15,500.00
This beautiful little viola has a warm, resonant tone on all strings, including the C string—a remarkable quality given that its body length is just short of 15 inches (380). The belly is very finely grained—typical of Mittenwald instruments of this period—and the amber-coloured oil varnish harmonises with the wood on all surfaces. Elegant, narrow edges compliment the small, characterful scroll.
Start sale price: $15,500.00
Measurements (over the arching):
Back length: 380.0mm
Stop length: 210.0mm