Cremona 1625, viola contralto
The viola (extremely rare because of its small size) was made by the Amati brothers, Girolamo and Antonio in 1620, as we can see from a label inside the soundbox.
The model of the soundbox, the scroll and the “ff” holes, the proportion of the shape, the thickness of the different parts and the arching of the belly and the back are features of the Amati production: the instrument can be attributed with no doubt to the Amati brothers. While all these elements are original, the tailpiece and the fingerboard have been replaced in occasio of an early restoration.
Since there are no documents in the archive of the House of Este , we can’t know who was the buyer and how the viola arrived in this collection.
From another tag, we can assume that it was restored by Mainz in 1795.
In 1914 it was restored by Pietro Messori, an important luthier from Modena and it is currently in a good state of preservation.