Stradivarius Viola: "The Axelrod"

Stradivarius Viola: "The Axelrod"

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Description (Brief)

This viola was made by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy, in 1695. It is the Axelrod viola with a one-piece table of pine with the grain somewhat fine at the joint, opening out on the flanks, a back of two-piece maple cut on the slab and marked by a faint small curl, sides of similar maple, and a red-brown varnish that on the back, sides and head of a slightly darker shade, due apparently to the wood having been stained. This viola was originally of larger dimensions, has been skilfully reduced in size. The coronet, which is visible on the table underneath the fingerboard, dates from the time of the instrument's construction and was, in all probability, that of the noble owner for whom it was made.

There is a compilation of measurements of the Axelrod viola by Christer A. Berglund available from the collections files.

The Axelrod viola is part of The Herbert R. Axelrod Quartet of Decorated Instruments by Antonio Stradivari, consisting of the Ole Bull violin,1687; the Greffuhle violin, c.1700; the Axelrod viola, 1695; and the Marylebone violoncello, 1688.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Stradivari, Antonio
place made
Italy: Lombardy, Cremona
Physical Description
pine (overall material)
maple (overall material)
overall: 28 3/8 in x 10 in x 4 5/8 in; 72.0725 cm x 25.4 cm x 11.7475 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Evelyn and Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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