"This much older and rarer instrument beautifully illustrates the Renaissance origin of the violin’s familiar shape. The maker's label inside the body is a modern facsimile, but the violin's authenticity has never been seriously challenged, and dendrochronology securely confirms its age. Remnants of original varnish appear beneath later coats. The maple back and sides are decorated with the untraced Latin couplet "Quo unico propugnaculo stat stabiq[ue] religio" ("By this bulwark alone religion stands and will stand"), perhaps referring to a royal establishment. Additional painted ornaments, mostly worn off, include fleurs-de-lys that suggest a French provenance. Some similarly decorated instruments of Andrea Amati's bear a motto associated with the court of Charles IX, whose mother, Catherine de Medicis, cultivated Italian music in France."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Ex "Kurtz" Violin, ca. 1560
Could this be the instrument that Count Cozio refers to in his notes as follows: "There was a good and beautiful violin belonging to Count Camillo Ciceri of Como. It previously belong to Corelli (who was a famous musician of his time) and then to the equally
famous Giardini. This instrument had the label of Steiner, but the deceased Paolo Mantegazza and myself feel it was the work of Andrea. This instrument was unique because it had golden letters designed on the ribs. As far as we know, this was the work of Andrea because his sons did not do that on instruments. Also, this work looked too old to be the work of Andrea's sons. Surely, this instrument could not have been the work of Steiner. This was because he, as all of the German imitators, used to make instruments with higher arching, f-holes shorter and more curved, and a soprano voice (which is appreciated in a concert for the sound quality). We felt that this violin was made by Andrea because we do not know of any other maker from that period who worked with such skill."
Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Baltimore