Images from The Rawlins
Viola by Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza, Milan, Italy, 1793
Note: Click on any major structural area of the instrument to see a close-up of that area.
NMM 3369. Viola by Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza, Milan, 1793. Ex colls.: Contessa Olignati, Como, Italy; Andrea Bisiach, Milan; J. & A. Beare, London. Witten-Rawlins Collection, 1984. Pietro Giovanni Mantegazza (born ca. 1730-died 1803) was the best-known maker of a family of luthiers and restorers who worked in the Milan area at the end of the 18th century. This viola is in mint condition with all of its original fittings, including a totally undisturbed neck and fingerboard.
Label inscription: Peirus Joannes Mantegatia fecit Me- / diolani in Via S. Margaritae 1793
Varnish: yellow-brown. Body: two-piece spruce front, cut on the quarter, fine grain at center seam, widening towards the flanks; knots in lower treble bout and lower treble corner; two-piece maple back, cut on the quarter, very faint horizontal figure; maple ribs matching back; maple neck and scroll; bone nut; black-stained, hardwood tailpiece faced in ebony with keyhole-shaped string holes and no saddle; very narrow ebony saddle (does not extend to edge of purfling); stained and turned boxwood endpin; stained boxwood pegs with bone pins; maple pins through back of blocks on treble side at top and bass side at bottom; one nail through top block.
Note: Click on image above to see a larger image of the soundholes.
Pegbox and Scroll Views
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Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the neck heel area.
Upper End of Belly
Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the upper end of belly.
Literature: Roger Hargrave, "Presentation Order," The Strad 96, No. 1142 (June 1985), p. 127.
Margaret Downie Banks, "The Witten-Rawlins Collection and Other Early Italian Stringed Instruments at The Shrine to Music Museum," Journal of the Violin Society of America 8, No. 3 (1987), pp. 41, 45-46.
Maurice W. Riley, The History of the Viola, Vol. II (Ann Arbor: Braun-Brumfield, 1991), pp. 40, 59, plate 37.
The Strad 1998 Calendar: Milan Makers 1670-1800.
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Stringed Instruments Made Before 1800
Technical Drawing of this Viola Available from Gift Shop
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