This illustration of a viola of the Gofriller School was published in The Strad, February 1962. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:
Of the Venetian luthiers the name of Gofriller is one that is familiar to most string players. There were three makers of this name, but the one of most importance is Matteo. According to his labels, Matteo’s working life must have been a long one, covering the years 1690-1742.
Violins by Gofriller are rare and his violas even more so. He was one of vert few Italians who appears to have made many more cellos than violins, and his fame rests mainly on the excellence of his large instruments.
The illustration shows a handsome and outstanding viola of the Gofriller School, dating from the first decade of the 18th century, and is in almost mint condition. It measures 16 ¾ inches (bare) in body length, the other dimensions being: top bouts, 7 11/16 inches; middle bouts 5 3/8 inches; lower bouts 9 9/16 inches. The depth of the ribs varies from 1 ½ inches to 1 9/16 inches (full). It is unusual to find an Italian viola of this period, and with these dimensions, that has not been cut down from a larger instrument.
The two-piece back of the Gofriller is of maple cut partly on the slab with a broad curl. The ribs and head are plain. The table is of medium grain at the centre opening out on the flanks. The varnish a dark red-brown.