Viola da gamba Bass

Paolo Antonio Testore (Milano, 1717)

Catalog 98. Viola da gamba, bass, Paolo Antonio Testore, Milano, 1717


Recent evidence brought to light that this instrument is actually exactly what its label purports it to be, a bass viol by Paolo Antonio Testore, Milano, 1717. Although common in the 16th C., this shape of viol, called “figure eight” or “cornerless” or “guitar-shape”, is often encountered throughout the 17th and up to the middle of the 18th Century, particularly in Italy. A number of viols by Grancino (Milano) and Petrus Guarneri (Cremona, later in Mantova) made in this form survive, dating from the beginning of the 18th Century.

The f-holes are characteristic of the work of Paolo Antonio Testore

The head, shown here before the restauration, displays all the hallmarks of the Milanese master’s hand

The Italian Renaissance and Early Baroque viols in concert:
Music for Charles V and Philip II – Tomás Luís de Victoria: O lux et decus Hispaniae

Body length 715 mm
Upper width
354 mm
Middle width 272 mm
Lower width 450 mm
Rib height 116  mm
String length 750 mm