Viola by Chanot and Lété Workshop, Paris, ca. 1819
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NMM 10395. Viola
by Chanot & Lété workshop, Paris, ca. 1819. Chanot model. Guitar-shaped body without corners or overhanging edges. Board of Trustees, 2003.
Top: one-piece, quarter-cut spruce: medium; prominent bear-claw figure.
Back: one-piece, quarter-cut maple with prominent, narrow curl ascending from treble to bass; ebony cap over entire button.
Ribs: two-piece, quarter-cut maple with prominent, narrow curl, angled to left; top and back do not overhang ribs.
Edging: edges not scooped; edges capped with rounded ivory over a pearwood strip.
Arching: full at center of top and back.
Edging: edges not scooped; edges capped with rounded ebony, continuing under back button; stained maple shim between back button cap and edge cap; edge caps finished with same varnish as body.
Purfling: ebony and bone.
Varnish: golden-brown with slight craquelure; similar to Chanot violin, NMM 5972.
Fingerboard: ebony; slight channel over neck position; separate piece from nut to 7 mm below nut.
String holder: guitar-style ebony with carved saddle, wider at upper end; finished with same varnish as body; strings held by three ebony pins and one black-stained maple pin.
Saddle: ebony; rounded front and upper edges; set into top and edge cap; finished with same varnish as body.
Endpin: ebony; small; no neck or collar.
Linings: spruce; wide.
Bassbar: long, narrow; extends over and through ebony string holder, which is cut away between G and C pins to accommodate bassbar on inside of top. File marks visible on nut.
F-holes: curved, slot-shaped, slightly wider at lower ends; edges lined in ebony and bone, the inside edge painted black.
Pegbox and Scroll
Head and neck: maple with faint, narrow curl; reversed scroll, reeded, with deep, wide groove at center; back of pegbox flat; neck varnished.
Pegs: one ebony with small ivory eye, showing marks of peg turner; one ebony with small mother-of-pearl eye, showing marks of peg turner; one ebony with eye missing; one ebony with larger collar rings than other pegs; all with convex heads.
Total viola length: 622 mm
Stop length (range of bridge positions visible on top): 196-250 mm
Vibrating string length: 345-403 mm
Original neck length (nut to ribs): 145 mm
Upper bout width: 185 mm
Center bout width: 121 mm
Lower bout width: 231 mm
Back length: 394 mm
Rib height: 36-37 mm
National Music Museum
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