Nicolò, Girolamo’s son representing the third generation of Amatis, took over the well-established family workshop after his father’s death in 1630. For about forty years, Nicolò Amati was indisputably the leading craftsman of 17th century Cremonese lutherie. Dozens of young makers learned the craft in his workshop, and first among them the familio Andrea Guarneri. Nicolo’s influence is also apparent in the early works by Antonio Stradivari and in the instruments of Francesco Rugeri - head of another dynasty of Cremonese makers – although their presence in the Amati workshop is not documented. In the mid 17th century, Nicolò Amati was a fully accomplished craftsman. The instruments he made in this period were marked by models and stylistic features that became an object of study and source of inspiration for whole generations of makers working in Cremona and elsewhere. His violins and cellos, which were much sought-after by collectors and performers, were considered at the beginning of the 19th century to be as valuable as Antonio Stradivari’s. After Nicolo’s death in 1684, his son Girolamo II was the only one to continue the family business almost until the turn of the century, though without much success despite the quality of his work.
The Hammerle, considered as a violin of large size in Nicolo’s production, stands out for the harmonious outline of the top and back plates. The instrument’s appearance clearly recalls some works made by a very young Nicolò that are labelled with the family brand bearing the names of both Antonio and Girolamo Amati.
Owned by the collector Theodor Hammerle, it later became the property of Henry Hottinger and was eventually sold to the Wurlitzer House of New York; the violin was finally bought by the Provincial Tourism Board of Cremona thanks to a public subscription. That same year, the violin Carlo IX made by Nicolo’s grandfather Andrea also returned to Cremona and was exhibited in the Sala dei Matrimoni of the Palazzo Comunale next to the Hammerle and the Cremonese which had been purchased a few years earlier.
Nicolaus Amatus Cremonen. Hieronymi / Fil. Ac Antonij Nepos fecit. 1658
Emil Herrmann, New York, November 1st, 1950
Rembert Wurlitzer, New York, May 13, 1966
Rembert Wurlitzer, New York, December 20, 1973
Purchased by the Provincial Tourism Board of Cremona in 1966