This instrument is of the "Grand Pattern" design, probably introduced by the youthful Nicolo in 1625. It was exhibited at the South Kensington exhibit in 1872 by Charles J. Read.
Collectors Choice, Jacques Francais, Collectors Choice: Musical Instruments of Five Centuries from American Private Collections, New York
Instrument #75 at the South Kensington Special Exhibition of 1872.
Catalogue of the Special Exhibition at South Kensington, England, Carl Engel, Catalogue of the Special Exhibition at South Kensington, England, London
Instrument #1074 at the Special Loan Exhibition at Fishmongers Hall, London in 1904.
1904 Loan Exhibition at Fishmonger's Hall, Catalog for the Special Loan Exhibition of Musical Instruments, Manuscripts, Portraits and other Mementos, Fishmonger's Hall, London
"Although one of the earliest of the Grand Pattern Amati violins, I think it is the most perfect one."
Guided Tour through the Shrine to Music's Galleries, Charles Beare, Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. XII, No. 2, Flushing, NY
"There are two excellent violins of this make in the collection Mrs. Jay's, and the violin of Mr. C. J. Read, No. 75. This latter is the large pattern of those makers, and is more elegant than what is technically called the grand Amati, but not so striking. To appreciate the merit and the defect of this instrument, compare it candidly with the noble Stradiuarius Amatise that hangs by its side, numbered 82. Take a back view first. In outline they are much alike. In the details of work the Amati is rather superior; the border of the Stradiuarius is more exquisite ; but the Amati scroll is better pointed and gauged more cleanly, the purfling better composed for effect, and the way that purfling is let in, especially at the corners, is incomparable. On the front view you find the Amati violin is scooped out here and there, a defect the Stradiuarius has avoided. I prefer the Stradiuarius sound-hole per se; but, if you look at
the curves of these two violins, you will observe that the Amati sound-holes are in strict harmony with the curves ; and the whole thing the product of one original mind that saw its way."
Biographical Notice of Nicolo Paganini