15 1/16" Henry Jay viola, London 1758
Henry Jay, not to be confused with the much earlier luthier Henry Jaye, was probably a pupil of the prominent English maker Peter Walmsley. The model and varnish are typical of mid-eighteenth century, middle-grade English work, which was strongly influenced by the Stainer-School German makers of the time. The broad arching contrasts with narrow edges and an elegant but distinctive scroll. The back length is only 384mm or 15 1/16”, but the tone is unexpectedly large for such a small viola, with a woody vibrancy that is very attractive.