"The back has been rather cut down along the center joint and shows the remainder of a circular motto which surrounds a seal -- heavily damaged but legible -- . The seal is surrounded by a multicolor decoration - similar to the one on the Sabatier violin.
In this instrument it is possible to see the use of a red pigment also to be found in the same position on other instruments from the "propugnaculo" set, in particular to the violins Sabatier and "ex Kurtz", but also in the traces remaining below the overpainting of the viola of the National Music Museum.
A reconstruction of the seal was realised by Dominique Morché. According to her study it represents the arms of Philip II, king of Spain from 1556 to 1598."
Andrea Amati Opera omnia: Les Violons du Roi, Fausto Cacciatori, editor, Andrea Amati Opera omnia: Les Violons du Roi, Cremona
This is most likely the viola described in Count Cozio's notes as follows: "The viola was originally very large and with 5 strings. The late Mantegazza remade the neck, lowered the ribs, replaced the bass bar, and thinned the instrument. This instrument was sold to Mr. Paolo Campi of Milan. The old neck was quite big, but well proportioned. It is still property of Mantegazza's son.
The back is of maple with nice grain. The varnish has been a little damaged by the work of reduction. However, it still remains very big. The top is made of spruce. The f-holes are poorly made. They are similar to those of Maggini of Brescia. . . The width of the purfling was the same as a violin. The edges were in relief and rounded, very similar to those of a violin. The sides are of good wood
and are high [...] ponti of the "piede di Parigi."
On the contour of the instrument, there were written words in big, golden letters which looked printed. Some of the letters were missing. This was because the body was reduced. The varnish was quite reddish, but transparent. Carlo Mantegazza said the varnish was composed of shellac, amber, and oil. The archings were wide and well flattened. The execution of the whole
instrument was regular and well refined. This can be seen in one of the pieces of the back that was removed when the instrument was reduced (which was owned by me) and also in the above mentioned neck (which was owned by Mantegazza). The label shows a not particularly beautiful type, which seems to date back to the end of the 18th century."
Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Memoirs of a Violin Collector: Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue, Baltimore