A fine example of the work of Benjamin Banks, Salisbury.
Banks’s model is probably only surpassed by Guadagnini in terms of effectiveness in this shorter back length. The ingenious design comes from several factors – one is the extra width across the middle bouts, the other is the use of low density pine to the front. These two factors, along with the typical English scoopy fluting, all contribute to making a good tone.
This particular viola is branded ‘Banks’ in three places. It has the characteristic bold signature on the lower block “B.B. 1782” and it is signed on the front “Made by Benjamin Banks 1782”. Condition is very good, some damage to peg box (restored). The original upper block still retains its nails (even though the neck has been lengthened). Typical original attractive varnish of transparent plum red.
Certificate by Claire Givens