OK, I tried to leave a comment for Manuel Morais on his personal page but I couldn't because it kept repeating that "it must be approved first" ...? I find it really strange that we, being all like-minded people here, are actually unable to leave each other comments freely. Isn't it what this network was created for? Or am I missing something?
Great to see you here. First of all, I just wanted to say a big thank you for publishing complete texts of DO REGIMENTO DOS VIOLEIROS as well as that of string makers ( ... DOS QUE FAZEM CORDAS DE VIOLA). I did some selected translations of the first from a few pages of your handwritten copy that John Griffiths has kindly provided me with. I only wish I knew Portuguese better so as to translate the complete document, maybe one day ... Anyway, this is the translation I'm talking about in case anybody is interested:
I'm very interested in one piece of iconography that you mention in your article. It's by Francisco Venegas (c. 1582-1591), Lisboa, Igreja da Luz, (Figure 4, p. 422). Do you have a better quality picture from where the number of pegs can be counted on the plucked viola (on the left)?
There is one more Portuguese viola to those that you mention (footnote 58, p. 415) which is in the Edinburgh University Collection of instruments (on loan from the National Museum of Scotland). It's a beautiful small 5-course (3 x 2 + 2 x 3) viola, in completely original condition, bearing the inscription "IOZE DOR V", no date found but possibly from c. 1740s - 50s.
By the way, the viola by Antonio dos Stos Vieyra (from the Ashmolean collection) has actually retained its original bridge with 6 (!) slots for paired courses (i.e. 6 x 2), not 5, as you mention. Otherwise the bridge design is very close to the above-mentioned instrument in Edinburgh. I can forward you some photographs if you are interested.