Pietro di Dardeli Mantovano
No. of Strings:
[Anonymous: in same noble family as long as they can remember]
Federico Lowenberger to TGM, 6+9+11/05
Soar 2016; Lowenberger 2007; Lowenberger 2006; Lowenberger 2005
Soar 2016, p. 9 (front); Lowenberger 2007 (FB+S and many details before restoration; also work in progress); Lowenberger 2006 (front full length, side body only, treble soundhole); Lowenberger 2005 (front and side full length, front and back body only, underside of table, label--all color); [also unpublished additional photos from Lowenberger]
Only body is original, with 3-piece table and arched back in 3 pieces (1 above fold, 2 below) cut on the slab, both with single BWB purfling. Bottom block original, with 2 centering nails on back and 1 on front, also 2 on upper part of back; old linings of beech may or may not be original. Had been converted into a cello and had extensive worm damage (including some previous repairs); restored by Lowenberger (2005) with new neck, head, and all fittings. String length based on bridge placement at bottom of soundholes; could be tuned in GG, but better in D. Iconography suggests a date in third quarter of 16th century; dendrochorology gives date of 1552 for youngest growth ring on table. Label probably not genuine. Soar 2016: when found by Lowenberger, “had lain undisturbed ... for an extended period of time. The neck was a 17th century replacement, but the body of the viol appeared to be complete and original.” Original now tuned in D at A390; Soar’s copy tuned in A at A460, with slightly longer neck giving SL of 90 cm; also has different reconstruction of pegbox and scroll; different bridge design gives “fuller and more focussed sound” than the original. Lowenberger identified back and ribs as maple, but Soar thinks they’re fruitwood and used cherry for his copy, with walnut fittings (but plum pegs).