Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1690, the 'Medici, Tuscan (Tenor)'

Viola: 41401

Bearing its original label, "Antonius Stradivarius Cremonensis / faciebat Anno 1690."

Back: Two-piece

Scroll: original

Varnish: Clear golden-brown

Length of back: 47.8 cm

Upper bouts: 21.9 cm

Lower bouts: 27.2 cm

There are 2 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


"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, Simone Fernando Sacconi, The 'Secrets' of Stradivari, Cremona


  • Arte Liuteria, 1985, No. 2, Gregory Burney, Florence (illustrated)
  • Antichi Strumenti: Collezioni dei Medici e dei Lorena (Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini), Giunti - Barbèra, Florence (illustrated)
  • Antonio Stradivari: His Life & Work (1644-1737), W. Henry, Arthur F. & Alfred E. Hill, William E. Hill & Sons, London, 1902
  • Capolavori di Antonio Stradivari, Charles Beare, Arnoldo Mondadori S.p.A., Milan (illustrated)
  • How Many Strads? (1999 edition), Doring, Bein & Fushi, Bein & Fushi, Chicago, 1999
  • Violins & Violinists, October-November, 1945, Ernest N. Doring, William Lewis & Son, Chicago
  • Italian Violin Makers (1964), Karel Jalovec, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1964 (illustrated)
  • L'Esposizione di Liuteria Antica a Cremona nel 1937, Comitato Stradivariano, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Stradivari Varnish: Scientific Analysis of his Finishing Technique on Selected Instruments, Brigitte Brandmair & Stefan-Peter Greiner (illustrated)
  • Stradivari's Medici Quintet, part 2, Cozio Carteggio feature, Alessandra Barabaschi (illustrated)
  • Stradivari’s Medici Quintet, part 1, Cozio Carteggio feature, Alessandra Barabaschi (illustrated)
  • The 'Secrets' of Stradivari, Simone Fernando Sacconi, Eric Blot Edizioni, Cremona (illustrated)
  • The Classic Lines of Italian Violin Making, Carlo Vettori, Giardini Editori, Pisa (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. V, No. 1, Maurice W. Riley, The Violin Society of America, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • The History of the Viola, Volume I, Maurice W. Riley (illustrated)
  • The History of the Viola, Volume II, Maurice W. Riley (illustrated)
  • The Strad 2007 Calendar, Newsquest Specialist Media, London (illustrated)
  • The Strad 2009 Calendar: The Museum Collection, Newsquest Specialist Media, London (illustrated)
  • Violin Iconography of Antonio Stradivari 1644-1737, Herbert K. Goodkind, Larchmont, NY (illustrated)
  • The Violin: Its Famous Makers and their Imitators, George Hart, Dulau & Co., London (illustrated)


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