Andrea Amati, Cremona, c. 1564, the 'Charles IX'


Small Violin: 40098

Label possibly original: "ANDREA AMADI IN / CREMONA MDLXIV"

Back: One-piece, with painted ornamentation, much of it now faded away

Top: of open-grain pine

Scroll: Original. Stamped with the initials "WC"

Ribs: Bearing the motto: "PIETATE ET JUSTITIA" ("BY PIETY AND JUSTICE")

Varnish: Golden-brown

Length of back: 34.0 cm

Upper bouts: 15.7 cm

Middle bouts: 10.4 cm

Lower bouts: 19.4 cm


Notes:

The oldest violin known to exist.

A Genealogy of the Amati Family of Violin Makers, Daniel Draley, The Maecenas Press, Iowa City, 1989


Instrument #1069 at the Special Loan Exhibition at Fishmongers Hall, London in 1904.

1904 Loan Exhibition, Catalog for the Special Loan Exhibition of Musical Instruments, Manuscripts, Portraits and other Mementos, Fishmonger's Hall, London


"On the lower rib, just to the left of the end button and reproduced twice, is a brand stamp "WC". The initials refer to a previous owner of the instrument William Corbett who is cited as the possessor of another violin in this exhibition."

Andrea Amati Opera omnia: Les Violons du Roi, Fausto Cacciatori, editor, Consorzo Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 2007


"It is said that these instruments were removed from Versailles during the Revolution and dispersed. This violin, however, had left the royal collection much earlier, as it is branded twice on the lower ribs and again on the scroll with the initials of the violinist and composer William Corbett (1668-1748). . . ."

Stringed Instruments: Viols, Violins, Citterns, and Guitars in the Ashmolean Museum, Harvey S. Whistler, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2008


"For importance in the history of the violin, this instrument is arugably the equal of the more famous 'Messie' violin by Antonio Stradivari (Ash.17). It is one of the oldest surviving violins in the world, made by the one individual who might reasonably be credited as the originator of the violin, at least in the form in which it is familiar today. . .

. . .The significant point is that Corbett himself must have purchased this violin long before the French Revolution, indicating that whatever instruments were originaly in the Charles IX set were not kept in Versailles throughout the pre-revolutionary period, and the numbers lost or destroyed before or after the revolution cannot be easily estimated."

Musical Instruments in the Ashmolean Museum: The Complete Collection, John Milnes, editor, Oxford Musical Instrument Publishing, Oxford, 2011

Certificates & Documents

  • Dendrochronology report: John C. Topham, Surrey Dating the youngest tree ring to 1487; the rings match the wood used for a 1672 Stainer violin (ID=19) and the 1574 "Charles IX" viola (ID=99). This instrument is an exception. Contrary to the general rule, both sides of this instruments front cross-matched many reference chronologies and other dated instrument sequences quite significantly but the bass side cross-matched one of the main Alpine chronologies extraordinarily well. The sequences also cross-matched each other very well suggesting they came from the same tree. Both sequences cross-matched specific sequences from fronts of other instruments moderately well, namely a violin by Ventura Linarol, who worked most of his life in Venice in the late 16th century and a violin in the Hill collection by Jacob Stainer with a one piece front made in 1672 (S. I. No. 16). The latter is a surprising result as the Stainer violin was made over a hundred year later. There is some relationship between the wood from this instrument and the wood from the viola by the brothers Amati (S. I. No. 13). However there appears to be little relationship between other Amati instruments and certainly not with the other Andrea Amati instruments. As is shown later there are instruments by Andrea Amati that do match with each other but this is uncommon suggesting diverse sources of wood.
  • Dendrochronology report: John C. Topham, Surrey Dating the youngest tree ring to 1487.

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.)

References

  • Catalog for the Special Loan Exhibition of Musical Instruments, Manuscripts, Portraits and other Mementos, Fishmonger's Hall, London, June-July, 1904
  • The Strad 1993 Calendar, 1992 (illustrated)
  • A Genealogy of the Amati Family of Violin Makers: 1500-1740, Daniel Draley, The Maecenas Press, Iowa City, 1989 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, December, 1991, Roger Hargrave, London, 1991 (illustrated)
  • Andrea Amati Opera omnia: Les Violons du Roi, Fausto Cacciatori, editor, Consorzo Liutai Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 2007 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, July, 2000, Roger Hargrave, London, 2000 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, December, 2004, Alvin Thomas King, London, 2004 (illustrated)
  • Il Legno si fa Musica, le mostre della Cassa di Risparmio, Verona, 1985 (illustrated)
  • Musical Instruments in the Ashmolean Museum: The Complete Collection, John Milnes, editor, Oxford Musical Instrument Publishing, Oxford, 2011 (illustrated)
  • The Strad, December, 1991, London, 1991 (illustrated)
  • Stringed Instruments: Viols, Violins, Citterns, and Guitars in the Ashmolean Museum, Harvey S. Whistler, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2008 (illustrated)
  • The Hill Collection of Musical Instruments, David D. Boyden, Oxford University Press, London, 1969 (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. IX, No. 3, Daniel Draley, The Queens College Press, Flushing, New York, 1988 (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. IX, No. 3, Daniel Draley, The Queens College Press, Flushing, New York, 1988 (illustrated)
  • Viols, Violins and Virginals, Jennifer A. Charlton, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1985 (illustrated)

Welcome


You already have a Tarisio account. Please login to continue.

Forgot Password

Sorry, that email and/or password is incorrect, please try again.

Homepage

Welcome


Please register or ​to continue.

Please enter a valid email address.

Homepage

Welcome


Please register or ​to continue.

We have sent you an email.
Please follow the link to confirm your registration.

Homepage