When working with musicians – especially young students – I always say that, although the “look” of an instrument shouldn’t be at the top of their list in terms of importance, it can definitely be ON the list.  I’m especially struck by this when we receive instruments from different workshops that are relatively humble in terms of their price-point.  I’m still able to remember what student instruments looked like when I was a young musician…and they did NOT look this nice!  Just this week, we received five violas from a relatively new workshop that all had clean workmanship, a very attractive un-antiqued varnish, and particularly beautiful material.  I’ve kept this one at my desk all day, occasionally playing it like a mandola!  I’m sure all my colleagues in the shop are very grateful to be serenaded by my plucked viola prowess!

Just take a look at the broad flames in the maple and the transparency of the varnish.  Beautiful!