Girolamo Amati

Cremona, 1561 – 1630; Cremona, 1596 –1684


Red spruce, maple and willow, cm 66 x 24,5 x 7

The viola, of unusually small proportions, was built by Girolamo Amati around 1625, as confirmed by a label on the inside of the Harmonic box. The attribution to the bottega Amati, confirmed by the model of the box, of the coil and of the “ff” along with the proportion and shape, the thickness and the rotund of the table, leave no doubts as to the originality. On the contrary, the keyboard and string holders are not original, as they were changed during an operation of restauration.

The absence of archive documents from the Estensi’s inventories does not consent, at the present state, to trace the item back to the commissioner or to the story of how it became part of the dukes’ collection. From another label, it can be presumed that the viola underwent restauration in Mainz in 1795. Furthermore, in 1914 it underwent further restauration in Modena at the hands of the lute maker Pietro Messori. Today, the instrument presents itself in an excellent state of conservation.