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Recently I came across an older violin (German approx 1901) that was wasting away in the corner of a guitar shop, I asked, they made me a very good deal and boom! I have another violin. The case they gave me is a 4/4 and she barely fits, in fact she's a little wedged in. My other violin has a 20 cm lower bout, my new one is 21 cm. I have heard that older violins are sometimes off the "standard" measurements which has me wondering what cases you use, I can't usually find "bout measurements" except at one site. Does anyone have suggestions? Do I need to go to a 3/4 viola case??
In my experience with (admittedly Chinese) fractional viola is that they have higher ribs than a violin, but have the same proportional width. Obviously, the Tetris model is the exception.
On the other hand, getting a case for a 15 inch viola may work if you do not mind the extra space extending above the scroll.
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
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I'm actually in the market for a new viola case right now, and because I have a Tertis pattern viola, I've had to pay attention to the interior dimensions. Most viola case manufacturers have interior measurements available. I'm not sure whether this is also true for violins, because violins tend not to vary as much in dimensions, but it's certainly worth searching for that information. If you can't find a violin case, a case for a short-scale viola should work nicely and isn't actually that much bigger.
I'm actually in the market for a new viola case right now, and because I have a Tertis pattern viola, I've had to pay attention to the interior dimensions. Most viola case manufacturers have interior measurements available.
Something that might also be useful is that some manufacturers make cases for violas size 15+15 1/2", 16+16 1/2" and if you are lucky, a 16" wide-bottomed viola might fit in such a case because it will also fit a 16 1/2 " viola.
Thanks so much for all your replies! I love coming here with questions, everyone is so supportive. Update! I found an Core case that has a 22 cm lower bout on sale at the beginning of the year. I took her to the luthier and was excited to find out she may not be from 1910-1925 like originally advertised. From looking inside she may be more like 1890, she needs a soundpost and bridge and has 2 cracks that needs cleats but it doesn't appear that she's ever been opened before. It's kind of amazing to think she's made it this far without proper maintenance.