This instrument has a soundboard of spruce; back, sides, scroll, and neck of sycamore; fingerboard, tailpiece, and endbutton of ebony; pegs of rosewood; rose of sycamore(?). This instrument started as a viol and was later converted into a small viola. There is an oval shaped rose set into the soundboard that is almost entirely obscured by the fingerboard, 43.8mm long, 36.6mm wide, the top being 83mm from the top of the body. The instrument has a reddish varnish, flame type sound-holes and purfling in the soundboard of ebony/sycamore(?)/ebony. The back and sides are of fine quality figured wood, the figure on the back going towards the top in the centre and down at the edges, the figure on the sides going towards the top at the back and down at the soundboard. The upper and lower bouts overlap the waist, rather than meeting in mitres at the corners. There is a line of purfling down the centre of the back. In the conversion to a viola the original head was preserved, filling the six holes and redrilling for viola pegs and a new neck grafted on. The original tailpiece arm was removed and replaced by an endbutton. There are bars on the back interior at the lower bout, the upper bout, and at the fold; there is also a linen strip down the centre joint at the back. The soundpost is loose inside the instrument, and there are marks on the lower bout bar showing positions of the post. There is a wood strip lining between the back and sides. The neck length is 149.5mm; fingerboard length 300mm, the width at the nut 25.1mm and the bottom 47.5mm; soundboard arch 21mm.
Repair History: There are a number of repaired cracks in both the soundboard and back. The fold on the back has been cracked along the entire length and has been crudely repaired. There are a series of close cracks along the length of the purfling at the back.
d. martin, 1993-94.
Purchased by H.I. Brackenbury at Puttick & Simpson, 18th June 1931 (lot 218) for £10/0/0.; Government allocation to the University, 1991.