No more than a dozen violas are currently attributed to Stradivari, and of them the ‘Gibson’ is considered to be the last one the Cremonese master produced. Despite the fact that its original label is missing, the ‘Gibson’ has always been considered as belonging to the final period of Stradivari’s life. Dated to around 1734—although at a certain point it was considered a product of 1728—this viola perfectly illustrates why, in the case of geniuses like Stradivari, it is almost impossible to categorise the instruments produced during a luthier’s final years as being inferior to the ones he made during earlier times. Stradivari was close to ninety years old when he made this last viola.
More information: Antonio Stradivari Set 1, Volume 4, Page 294