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Nicolò Amati (3 December 1596 - April 12, 1684) was an Italian luthier from Cremona.

Nicolò Amati was the fifth son of Girolamo Amati and the grandson of Andrea Amati, the founder of the Amati Family of violin makers. Of all the Amati Family violins, those of Nicolò are often considered most suitable for modern playing. As a young man his instruments closely followed the concepts of his father's, with a relatively small model and high arching rising nearly to a ridge in the centre of both the front and back. Starting in 1630 he gradually began to show some signs of originality, which, by 1640 became what is now known as the 'Grand Amati' pattern. Well curved, long-cornered, and strongly and cleanly purfled they perhaps represent the height of elegance in violin making and were characterized by mathematically derived outlines and transparent amber-colored varnish[1].

Nicolò Amati also made important contributions to the world of violin making not just by what he made, but by who he taught. Initially having no sons to carry on the family business as was traditional at the time, Nicolò Amati was one of the first to take apprentices from outside his family into his workshop. Andrea Guarneri, who eventually founded the Guarneri Family of violin makers, was a pupil of Nicolò. Also at least one Antonio Stradivari label, dated 1666, reads, “Alumnus Nicolais Amati” - student of Nicolò Amati.[2] but it has always been controversial as to whether he was an actual apprentice of Nicolò Amati, or merely considered himself a student and admirer of his work in a broader sense. Other documented pupils of Nicolò include Jacob Railich, Bartolomeo Pasta, Bartolomeo Cristofori, Giacomo Gennaro, and Giovanni Battista Rogeri. Nicolò’s son, Hieronymus II (often refered to in English as Girolamo) (1649–1740), was the last of his line to achieve distinction.

The Latin forms of the first names, Andreas, Antonius, Hieronymus, and Nicolaus, were generally used on the violin labels, and the family name was sometimes Latinized as Amatus.


  1. ^ Henley, William (1973). The Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers. Brighton: Amati.  
  2. ^ Hill, W. H.; Hill, A. F.; Hill, A. E. (1963). Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0486204251.,M1. Retrieved 2009-01-15.  

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