1616 Amati Cello

Maker: Hieronymus and Antonio Amati

Origin: Cremona, Italy

Made: 1616

Current Player: Timo-Veikko Valve

Sound Notes: Bright and reaching, operatic


Owner: ACO Instrument Fund

Date Acquired: 2017

Date Loaned to ACO: 2017

About the Instrument

Over 400 years old, this cello was made in 1616 in the Cremonese workshop of the brothers Hieronymus and Antonio Amati. The third acquisition of the Instrument Fund, according to Principal cello Timo-Veikko Valve: “In a way, it found us. We weren’t actively looking and we were stunned by its beauty, power and capabilities”.

In the 20th century, this instrument was one of two Amatis owned by British chamber cellist Amaryllis Fleming (1925-99). Fleming was the first modern cellist to return to performing Baroque music in “historically-informed style”. This included performing the six cello Suites by J.S. Bach on five-stringed cellos.

The cello’s back is in two pieces of maple, the table in two pieces of spruce of medium grain. The scroll is of a later date.


About the Maker

The famous Amati family chronologically precede, and are considered as important as, the Guarneri and Stradivari families in the Cremonese golden age of instrument making. The ‘brothers Amati’ as Antonio and Hieronymus are commonly known, were renowned for their innovative design. They developed the trade passed on to them by their father, Andrea Amati, and in turn their legacy was further established by Hieronymus’ son, Niccolo Amati.

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