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The viola is branded with the letter M on the button, and with a crowned orb or letter O on the back of the pegbox; both probably indicate former owners. The ribs and two-piece back are made of maple with a square of purfling at the base where the ivory end-pin is set inside a purfled diamond. The purfling at the base may not be original. The fingerboard is a replacement, inlaid to match the tailpiece, which is original. The neck has been reworked with an inserted wooden plug at the button and a reduction at the heel, which has exposed the nail holes, where the neck was originally secured to the upper block. This viola once belonged to Sir William Hamilton (1730–1803), British plenipotentiary at Naples from 1764 to 1800.

  • Date:
  • Maker:
    Amati, Girolamo I [Person]
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Cremona (Timezone: Europe/Rome)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark: Antoni[ ] & Hieronymus Fr. Amati / Cremoneñ Andreæ fil. F. 1592 (Printed label with the date added in pen and ink)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:452.5 mm of back length; 218 mm upper bout (back) width; 149.5 mm middle bout (back) width; 266.25 mm lower bout (back) width; 396 mm string (current set up) length