Richard Meares / Bishop Gate / London 1665 [handwritten]
No. of Strings:
Laurence Dreyfus, Oxford, 2007-2015; Roberta Guastafeste, Chicago, early 1970s-2007; Mr. Jones, Chicago; Mr. Klein, Chicago/Valparaiso U.
L. Dreyfus to TGM, 3/17; TGM visit 4/93
Heinrich 2010, p. 19 (front, body only); formerly on website of A440 Violin Shop (R. Guastafeste, prop.) (F+B body only, head side, table ornament, bass C-hole [color]); [by TGM: FB+S, head side, table ornament]
Heinrich 2010 (Hume)
TGM visit: 3-piece table (but with full-length linen strip along center), 3-piece back with diamond pattern in middle, oval-plus-triangle above and below (very similar to M. Levy’s viol attributed to Meares, but different from most others by him); both with double purfling. Fingerboard of bird’s-eye maple with rosewood side strips; bridge by Hamma, Stuttgart. Neck and scroll not original, but lower part of pegbox is. 4 nail holes in top block; wood perimeter linings but no corner blocks; tall crossbars above and below soundpost plate are probably modern. Worm damage to ribs repaired (full-height linen lining on entire lower bout) before R. Guastafeste acquired it, early 1970s (in trade for a modern viol by Hamma/Stuttgart, which had belonged to Jones’s teacher, Klein). A440 (Guastafeste) website: “With a certificate from Kenneth Warren and Son dated 1961, ... described as being ‘authentic with the exception of the scroll and neck, these being of modern origin’.” Hebbert 2001a, p. 79: table is replacement from Barak Norman workshop after 1700, with his type VIII floral decoration. Restored by John Topham, 2013-15, including new neck for longer string length, also new fingerboard and tailpiece (ebony veneer on maple, with white perimeter inlay) and hookbar, pegs, bridge, soundpost, and frets (but not scroll); disassembly and repair of major and minor cracks; half-edging of belly (all around, plus patches at top and bottom blocks) and back (5 places).