Violin by Nicolo Amati, Cremona, 1671 (by the hand of Girolamo Amati)

Object type
Bequeathed by John Rutson,
Stringed instrument: Violin by Nicolo Amati, Cremona 1671 (by the hand of Girolamo Amati)

This beautiful violin of 1671 is in keeping with the best traditions of his family. Like much of Girolamo's output it is modelled on the smaller pattern of Nicolo, which was much favoured at the time for its bright tone and quick response. However, the arching is marginally flatter at the edges and around the soundholes than the work of his father. The soundholes in particular show a return to the more upright position of earlier work by the Brothers Amati (seen clearly on the 1620 viola, for example). All the members of the Amati family and their pupils had a slightly different approach to finishing the purfling in the corners, almost as a trademark. Girolamo chose to deflect his purfling mitres quite strongly across the corner, and this makes an interesting comparison with the instruments on previous pages.

The head is elegant and cleanly carved, while in profile the scroll appears slightly angular and perhaps less conscientiously symmetrical than the work of his forefathers. The wood of the table is usually in one piece of figured spruce, with wide grain in the bass, becoming tighter towards the treble side. Classical makers generally preferred to make their fronts in two matching pieces split from a single wedge. The remaining dark golden-brown varnish is reflective and slightly opaque. Areas around the middle bouts, where the varnish retains its original thickness, is textured with heavy craquelure and is beautifully patinated.
Date made
maple, spruce, ebony
Object type
Type Length Width Height Diameter Unit (length)
Stop 197 mm
Neck 130 mm
Back 353 mm
Upper Bout 161 mm
Middle Bout 111 mm
Lower Bout 200 mm
Back (with caliper) 351 mm
Upper Bout (with caliper) 160 mm
Middle Bout (with caliper) 106.6 mm
Lower Bout (with caliper) 198.4 mm
Total String Length mm
Accession No


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