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Violin by Antonio Amati, 1588 ex “Mendelssohn-Armada”

Tags: Antonio Amati | violin

Antonio Amati, son of Andrea Amati, was an important maker of the second generation of the Amati school. He and his brother Girolamo (c. 1550-1630) later took over their father’s workshop upon Andrea Amati’s death. Their other siblings at the time had also set up workshops in other areas, but the fame was not as reputed as Antonio and Girolamo. The two brothers not only inherited the knowledge of their father, but also established an independent workshop, drawing many apprentices, thus creating a thriving hub for instrument making. Due to the combination of high artistic value and sweet timbre, the works they crafted enjoyed an immense popularity, with their reputation extending as far as England.

The violin “Mendelssohn-Armada” completed by Antonio Amati in 1588 bears a smaller body size. At that time, two sizes of violins were being made, the large and small; the present one is an example of the latter. Acquired by Chi Mei in 2006, this violin was once in possession of the Mendelssohn Family, from which the name of the instrument was derived. It was later owned by the reputed family of collectors, W.E. Hill & Sons. However, no documentary records have indicated the exact dates of the two families’ ownership of the violin.




Text and images are provided by Music Digital Archives Center, National Taiwan Normal University (Digital Violin Archive Project of Chi Mei Museum)