Girolamo Amati I, Cremona, c. 1590, the 'Henry IV'


Viola: 44670

Labeled, "Andrea Amadi in Cremona MDLXXIIII."

Back: One-piece, covered with a painting of the armorial bearings of Henry IV supported on each side by an angel

Top: of spruce with an open and well-defined grain

Scroll: of faint narrow curl

Ribs: of wood similar to back, inscribed in gilt letters "Dvo Proteci Tvnvs"

Varnish: Red-brown

Length of back: 42.2 cm

Upper bouts: 20 cm

Middle bouts: 12.9 cm

Lower bouts: 24.3 cm

There are 15 additional images in the archive which are not available publicly. Please contact us for more information.


Notes:

This is one of two instruments commissioned by Henry IV that survived the French revolution. The other is a violin (ID=2362).

"At each end of the back is a gold letter 'H' surmounted by the crown of France. Both designs are topped by laurel leaves. Geometrically spaced throughout the back are six flambeaux. Painted on the maple ribs is the Latin inscription: 'DVO PROTEGI TVNVS' (God preserve my tone). This motto progresses around the sides from left to right."

The History of the Viola, Volume 1, Maurice W. Riley, The History of the Viola, Volume I


Listed by Sotheby's as "by a member of the Amati Family, Cremona, Circa 1600".

Sotheby's Fine Pianos and Strings Auction Catalog, April 16, 1981, New York, Sotheby's, Sotheby's Fine Pianos and Strings Auction Catalog, April 16, 1981, New York, New York

Provenance

until 1610 Henry IV, King of France & Navaree
until 1890 George Herbert
- Miss E.A. Willmott
until 1935 W. E. Hill & Sons
from 1935 Antonio Antoncich
in 1980 Captain Edgar K. Thompson
... ...
in c. 2010 Chi-Mei Culture Foundation, Taiwan

Certificates & Documents

  • Letter: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1935) Gives history of the instrument.
  • Certificate: W. E. Hill & Sons, London (1935) States that the length of the instrument was probably about 18 inches or longer before it was cut down around 1800. "I consider it a very interesting example of Amati workmanship, a great rarity, and from the tonal point of view, an excellent instrument."

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

  • Peter Biddulph photographic archives
  • Private Archives - 10072
  • Private Archives - 10746
  • Sotheby's Fine Pianos and Strings Auction Catalog, April 16, 1981, New York, Sotheby's, Sotheby's, New York (illustrated)
  • Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. V, No. 1, Maurice W. Riley, The Violin Society of America, Flushing, NY (illustrated)
  • The History of the Viola, Volume I, Maurice W. Riley (illustrated)
  • The Jacques Français Rare Violins, Inc. Photographic Archive and Business Records, 1844-1998, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (illustrated)
  • W. E. Hill & Sons Photographic Archive (illustrated)

Welcome


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

Forgot Password

Homepage

Welcome


Please register or ​to continue.

Homepage

Welcome


Please register or ​to continue.

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

Homepage

Create Your Password


Click the button below and we'll email you a link to generate your Tarisio password.

Homepage