28th March 2017
2 instruments by Dom Nicolo Amati
Little more is known about Dom Nicolo Amati than that which can be gleaned from his labels. He is believed to have been a priest as well as a violin maker, and his real surname was Melchioni or Marchioni. The substitution of Amati probably dates from the 19th century, and there is no link between the Bolognese priest and the great Cremonese violin-making family.
Indeed, Dom Nicolo’s instruments have an entirely different inspiration, and show the influence of the Venetian school of the early 18th century. They have often been mistaken for more prestigious violins from that city, as the labels in the two violins illustrated here testify. Although Dom Nicolo’s varnish was, at its best, comparable to a good Venetian varnish, his idiosyncrasies as a maker (the placement of the f-holes and locating pins, for example) betray a more individual style that places him outside the mainstream.