Richard Meares lived in the second half of the 17th century in London. Like all the English viol makers of his time, he excelled in beautiful inlay work on his viols. He was one of the most highly praised English violin makers of his time.
I base my copies on an original which is privately owned in Britain,which I had an opportunity to closely examine. It is a smaller bass than the Barak Norman instrument, seen by many as a Division Viol.
Probably the best viol for a soloist who wants to play mostly English and German viol literature, and who does not want a French 7-string viol. A good size for solo playing, string length may vary between 68cm and 71 cm. Strong English sound, excellent instrument for solo literature and consort playing.
The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England houses a wonderful collection of original viols. One of them is the so called Lyra Viol made by John Rose, who was especially praised by John Mace. Rose worked in Bridewell, London in the second half of the 16th century. He was said to be the inventor of a cittern like instrument called the Pandora. Bolles, a contemporary, and Rose might well be called the founders of British viol making.
While the instrument I copy is called a »Lyra Viol« these copies have also been used as tenor viols in consorts. The size of the instrument, almost a small bass with a string length of 52 cm, gives the instrument a strong tone, which creates a good foundation for the middle register in Consort playing.