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Viola by Chanot and Lété Workshop, Paris, ca. 1819

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Front view NMM 10395. Viola by Chanot and Lete workshop, Paris, 1819 Bass side view Back view

NMM 10395. Viola by Chanot & Lété workshop, Paris, ca. 1819. Chanot model. Guitar-shaped body without corners or overhanging edges. Board of Trustees, 2003.

Technical Information

Label: None.

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.

Nut:  ebony.

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

Front of pegbox Bass side of pegbox Back of pegbox

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

Go to Checklist of Chanot Model Bowed Stringed Instruments

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Most recent update:   March 8, 2014

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Front of pegbox Front of violin Upper bouts Soundholes Bridge Treble soundhole Soundholes Front, lower bouts Pin holder Lower bouts Lower bouts Saddle Bottom rib Bottom rib Pegbox, bass side Neck, bass side Neck heel, bass side Body, bass side Pegbox, treble side Neck, treble side Neck heel, treble side Body, treble side Pegbox, back Back Neck heel, back Upper bout, back Center bout, back Lower bouts, back Bottom rib