Andrea Amati, Cremona, 1570, the 'Kurtz, Metropolitan'

Violin: 40073

Bearing a modern facsimile label.

Back: One-piece of radial cut, with medium curl sloping from left to right

Top: of spruce, wide grained in the center, sloping towards the edges

Ribs: of wood similar to back; decorated

Varnish: Light brown on a gold background

Length of back: 35.6 cm

Upper bouts: 16.2 cm

Middle bouts: 11 cm

Lower bouts: 20.2 cm

There is 1 additional image in the archive which is not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


"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


- Oliphant
- Miss Irene Pellew
until 1873 Sir Louis Mallet
in 1873 Sold by Edward Withers
in 1873 Michael Longridge
in 1873 George Withers & Sons
from 1873 George Soames
in 1885 Edward Heron-Allen
in 1885 Edward Heron-Allen
in 1890 Sidney Courtald
until 1896 W. E. Hill & Sons
1896 - 1923 Miss Hilda Barry
in 1923 Sold by W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1923 Rudolph Wurlitzer Co.
- Sold by Emil Herrmann, New York
in 1927 Dr. Steiner-Schweitzer
until 1930 Emil Herrmann, New York
... ...
in 1937 Robert L. Dennison
until 1940 Harry Wahl
until 1941 Emil Herrmann, New York
... ...
in 1991 Dr. Arved Kurtz
... ...
from 1999 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Certificates & Documents

  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London
  • Certificate: Emil Herrmann, New York, New York, NY

Cozio holds copies of many certificates and other documents, some of which are available to view on request. Please contact us if you wish to view a particular document. (Note that we do not always have permission to share documents.)


  • Andrea Amati Opera omnia: Les Violons du Roi, Fausto Cacciatori, editor, Consorzo Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Antonius Stradivarius (Balfoort), Dirk J. Balfoort, The Continental Book Company, Stockholm (illustrated)
  • Capolavori di Andrea Amati, Charles Beare, Bruce Carlson & Andrea Mosconi, Ente Triennale Internazionale Degli Strumenti, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Correspondence with David Kerr, April, 2010
  • Die Kunst des Geigenbaues (1997), Otto Möckel, Bernhard Friedrich Voigt, Berlin, 1997 (illustrated)
  • Harry Wahl's Violins, Maija-Stiina Roine, Cozio Publishing, Boston (illustrated)
  • Italian Violin Makers (1964), Karel Jalovec, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1964 (illustrated)
  • Italienische Geigenbauer (1957), Karel Jalovec, Artia, Prague, 1957 (illustrated)
  • L'Esposizione di Liuteria Antica a Cremona nel 1937, Comitato Stradivariano, Cremona (illustrated)
  • Luthiers Library (illustrated)
  • Meisterwerke Italienischer Geigenbaukunst, Fridolin Hamma, Hamma & Co., Stuttgart (illustrated)
  • Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Brandon Frazier, Baltimore
  • Rare Violins in the Possession of Emil Herrmann: 1926-7, Emil Herrmann, Berlin (illustrated)
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (illustrated)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Ex "Kurtz" Violin, ca. 1560
  • Violin Making As It Was And Is: being a Historical, Theoretical and Practical Treatise, Edward Heron-Allen, Ward Lock & Co., London (illustrated)


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