Luthier / Bowmaker

Nicolò Amati (b 1596; d 1684) , Cremona

Nicolo Amati was the son Girolamo and grandson of Andrea. He probably began taking an active role in the Amati workshop around 1610, and by the mid 1620s he was an accomplished master. Most of the instruments bearing a Brothers Amati label but dated after the mid 1620s are probably from the hand of Nicolo, since his father would have been in his mid-60s at this time.

In 1630, Nicolo's father Girolamo perished in the plague, as did many other violin makers, including Nicolo's main rival to the North, Giovanni Paolo Maggini of Brescia. At the same time, the demand for instruments of the violin family was growing, and Nicolo -- still unmarried and childless -- was, for the first time in the Amati family, forced take in outsiders as apprentices.

Starting in the early 1630s, Nicolo trained a succession of makers who would go on to expand violin-making in Cremona and throughout Italy. These included Andrea Guarneri, the first of the Guarneri family of makers and Giacomo Gennaro. While there is no documentary evidence that either Francesco Ruggieri or Antonio Stradivari worked in the Amati shop, it's clear that they studied Nicolo's instruments intently and attempted to duplicate his models and working methods. The same can be said of Jacob Stainer in Absam.

Finally in 1649, at the age of 54, Nicolo sired his first son, whom he named Girolamo in honor of his father. When Nicolo died in 1684, at the age of 88, Girolamo II inherited the shop and attempted to maintain the Amati supremacy, but with much less success than his ancestors.

Nicolo is considered by many to be one of the finest craftsmen in the history of violin making. Virtually all of his instruments are made with unerring precision and attention to detail. Nicolo is also famous for introducing the so-called 'Grand Pattern' violin, slightly larger than the models designed by his father and grandfather. Today, these larger instruments, measuring about 35.6 cm. in body length, are particularly well-regarded by professional violinists because they produce a larger sound, more suited to modern concert halls, than the smaller models, which are still ideal for small chamber settings.

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4066 violin 1624  
3895 double bass 1624-1684    
4088 viola 1624-1684    
4358 violin 1624-1684    
4949 viola 1624-1684
5114 double bass 1624-1684      
5722 violin 1624-1684  
6083 violin 1624-1684  
6892 violin 1624-1684      
6894 violin 1624-1684      
7332 violin 1624-1684    
7613 violin 1624-1684
9023 violin 1624-1684      
9024 violin 1624-1684      
20489 violin 1624-1684  
36 violin 1628
4787 violin 1630c    
5366 violin 1630c  
7614 double bass 1630c    
6906 double bass 1631    
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