John Juzek 16” German Viola Circa 1950
This viola was commercially made in a large German workshop after WWII. The Juzek firm was first located in Schönbach, Czechoslovakia prior to the war. After the WWII Robert (the son) and John Juzek moved the company just over the border into Germany. There is no date, serial number, or model information on the label. Many of these instruments were made under contract that John Juzek secured with the New York City Public Schools, U.S. Teacher Colleges and other U.S. city public schools in the 1950’s. This instrument is a better grade trade viola with a higher quality varnish and all newly carved fittings. This viola is a little deeper in the ribs at 36.0 mm and the varnish has that traditional older orange-brown look with a slight touch of red all on a golden ground. The varnish contains a beautiful patina and plenty of natural wear.
This very playable viola has a nice sound, slightly reedy and Mr. Judd can boast of its great attack and at its core the instrument has guts. This power is consistent throughout the range. This is an instrument for the player looking to significantly move up in a viola from a standard school quality instrument or rental.