ex "Kurtz" Violin, ca.1560 - Andrea Amati (1505-1578)
5 in stock.
images courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The violin family appeared in essentially its modern form in northern Italy, specifically in Brescia and Cremona, about 1550. Andrea Amati of Cremona was among the first generation of makers to add a fourth string to the violin and to create the standard sizes of cello, viola, and violin in their classic modern shapes. His instruments, which show an elegance of line and more delicacy and lightness than many later examples, are exceedingly rare. Amati is credited for setting the standard of superb craftsmanship that likewise characterizes the work of his followers, who included two of his sons and his distinguished grandson Nicolò, as well as Antonio Stradivari.
The maple back and sides of the Kurtz violin are decorated with the Latin couplet "Quo unico propugnaculo stat stabiq[ue] religio" (By this bulwark alone religion stands and will stand). The back of the instrument is decorated with fleurs-de-lis in the corners, a geometric design with floral ornamentation between the upper bouts, and a few traces in the middle of the back where there is presumed to have been a coat of arms. There is speculation that the violin was part of a set of instruments presented upon the marriage of Philip II of Spain to Elisabeth of Valois in 1559.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-525: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)