William Forster II was violin maker to the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cumberland, hence his reputation as “Royal Forster”, the finest maker of the family dynasty. This viola made around 1780 is a fine and typical example…
This viola made in London by a French pupil of Jean Baptiste Vuillaume is a highly refined sixteen-inch interpretation of Brescian work, it has loudness, brightness and enormous versatility. An unexpected instrument for either an English or French pedigree, in many respects the outcome anticipates some of the most exciting Italian making of the early twentieth century.
A very early and rare French seventeenth-century viola approximating the Haute-Contre size found in orchestras of the seventeenth century. The outline, general form and varnish are strikingly simiar to a bass violin by Wilhelm Azan in the Musee de la Musique, Paris, and the partly illegible label gives a clear date for 1668, supported by dendrochronology.
Rüdolf Hös was born to an important family of instrument makers in Füssen in 1640, but was sent away to apprentice in Rome sometime around 1663. His application for citizenship of the city of Munich states that he spent 19 years in Italy, working in Bologna and Venice before his return to Germany and his appointment as instrument maker at the Ducal Court in Munich.