Handmade Viols from Bob Eyland

Placing a commission for a handmade Viol gives you the opportunity to own a unique instrument tailored specifically to your needs. Whether it is your first viol or you are an experienced professional player the aim is to produce an instrument that is a pleasure to play, beautiful to look at and has superb musical qualities.

With my many years of experience I am able to guide you through the process of deciding the most appropriate model and configuration of the Viol to best suit your requirements. To facilitate ease of playing, features such as string length and neck width can be varied on an individual basis. Where it is practical customers are welcome to visit the workshop and personally select the woods for their viol from my stock of timbers. Varying amounts of decoration are available and I can advise on stylistic details appropriate to the chosen model. The colour of the varnish can be adjusted to your taste and there is a choice of colours for the case.

“I have been buying Bob Eyland’s viols for 35 years – 16 instruments to date. I have bought several instruments from other makers too, but for their clear tone and ease of playing, and for Bob’s immaculate craftsmanship, I keep going back for more.”

Alison Crum. Performer, teacher and President of the Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain.

If you’re interested in having an instrument made specifically for you, get in touch for an informal chat…

Bob Eyland Handmade Viola da Gamba

Clients’ comments

“Small 7 string Colichon: A viol that works in all circumstances and never fails to please. In this changeable world it’s great to have something you can rely on 100%!”
Susanne Heinrich

“A copy or, more accurately, a meticulous reconstruction of a G violone which Bob made for me in 1983 has been and is still one of my favourite instruments. It is enormously versatile, as well as beautifully made, and recently has been much admired as the ideal bass instrument in early Bach.”
Bill Hunt

“I have Bob Eyland’s superb ‘Silver Jubilee’ bass viol that celebrates 25 years of making from this expert craftsman. It is an absolute gem of an instrument- a small Colichon with a vibrant range from top to bottom. I have found no other instrument that comes anywhere near mine. The finish is stunning and the workmanship faultless – and the sound projects and resonates beautifully. I consider myself very lucky to have one of Bob’s instruments.”
Jacqui Robertson-Wade
“My Bob Eyland seven-string bass Colichon copy is a most beautiful instrument both to look at and to play. The sound is rich and creamy in the bass and clear with warmth in the treble/tenor range. I feel really fortunate to own this instrument and pick it up with pleasure every time I play.”
Dr Polly Sussex
“I have the privilege of owning one of Bob’s 7 string bass viols. His uncompromising approach to craftsmanship results in instruments of stunning visual as well as sonorous beauty, but what I appreciate particularly is the fact that he never allows a demand for powerful instruments to overshadow subtlety and clarity of tone. I also commissioned a treble viol from him, with equal success.”
Thomas Munck
“I enjoy playing the 6 string bass viol and G violone you made for me. They are beautiful to look at and play very easily, with a very warm tone which many people have commented on, including several professors of the instrument.”
Christopher Coggill