And then there are ones like this that are just too fancy to be allowed.
The Victoria and Albert Museum says:
Viols were bowed instruments ranging from treble to bass, but by about 1780 they had been superceded by the violin and cello. However, this bass viol belonged to John Cawse (1779-1862), one of the earliest pioneers in the revival of Early Music. The body may have been made by Joachim Tielke (1641-1719), but the neck, fingerboard and tailpiece date from the mid 1720s. Cawse lent his instrument to be played in the Concert of Ancient Music at Windsor Castle, an event organized by Prince Albert (1819-1861) in 1845 and perhaps the first of its kind. Despite what was then a highly unusual enthusiasm, Prince Albert felt compelled to make economies in the Royal Household and abolish the obsolete post of Royal Lutenist at about this time.
the oberlin professor of viols owns the second largest collection of viols in the world i’m pretty sure and all of them are playable and at least one is by tielke
concerts of “ancient” music had been happening in england since the 1720’s, but the use of a viol in 1845 would have been very strange indeed. the last virtuoso of the viol was carl friedrich abel, a german expat living in london who died in 1787.
viols are super cool and also very different from the violin family so that’s not just a fancy cello. viols have 6-7 strings and are fretted and are played with an underhanded bow hold.
Having visited said professor’s home and collection, I gotta say that it is spectacular. She plays each of them. Each of them. They’re the second largest collection in the world, and she still treats them like distinct people, and knows all of their nuances.
I am sooo glad I took viol with her for winter term.
That is so cool and I am jealous. I loved my professors but wow.