"This is the only instrument remaining completely in its original form. The neck, fingerboard, pegs, bridge, tailpiece and end-button are original. The instrument type -- a large viola -- was already obsolete when it was delivered to the Duke, so the instrument was rarely played. In 1863, it was offered to the Regio Isituto Musicale of Florence, now the Instituto Cherubini, where it has been ever since."
Capolavori di Antonio Stradivari, Charles Beare, Charles Beare, Capolavori di Antonio Stradivari, Milan
Illustrated in The Strad, Dec. 1987.
How Many Strads?, Doring, Bein & Fushi, Doring, Bein & Fushi, How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Chicago
Around 1877, Giuseppe Scarampella, the curator of the Instituto Cherubini, opened the instrument to repair some worm-beetle damage, and discovered that a large patch had been inserted in the belly with the notation in Stradivari's handwriting: "Correto da me Antonius Stradivarius". Apparently Stradivari had made the belly to thin and had to later reinforce it.
How Many Strads? - Supplemental Remarks, Ernest N. Doring, Violins & Violinists, October-November, 1945, Chicago
". . . the Medici tenor viola [is] probably the only instrument [by Stradivari] to have its original bass-bar."
The 'Secrets' of Stradivari, The 'Secrets' of Stradivari, Cremona