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Nicolò Amati Violin: the "Florian Zajic"

Nicolò Amati Violin: the "Florian Zajic"

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Description (Brief)

This violin was made by Nicolò Amati in Cremona, Italy, 1672. It is the Florian Zajic violin has a top of spruce with grain of medium width, two-piece back of quarter sawn maple with flame of medium width descending slightly from the center joint, ribs and scroll of slightly plainer maple, and varnish of a golden-brown color over a golden ground. There is an original printed label inside the instrument:

Nicolaus Amatus Cremonen. Hieronymi
Fil. ac Antonij Nepos Fecit. 1672

[“72” is handwritten

This violin is named after Professor Florian Zajic (1853-1926) of Berlin who studied at the Prague Conservatory, became the leader of

theater orchestras in Mannheim, Strassburg and Hamburg, and by 1891 was teaching at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. His performance career included a recital with Ignacy Jan Paderewski in October, 1887 and a regular series of violin sonatas with Heinrich Grunfeld.

In 1885 he had acquired the Ferdinand David Guarneri del Gesu violin from his friend Herr Wilhelmj, which later became the property of Jascha Heifetz.

This Amati violin was acquired by the violin dealer Emil Herrmann who assembled a quartet of Amati instruments (the 1656 King Louis XIV and the 1672 Florian Zajic violins, the 1663 Professor Wirth viola, and the 1677 Herbert violoncello) for Mrs. Anna E. Clark. She lent them to the Loewenguth Quartet of Brussels before bequeathing the quartet to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The Corcoran loaned the quartet to the Claremont String Quartet of the North Carolina School of the Arts, and in 1975, to the Tokyo String Quartet, and then to the Takács Quartet before selling them to Dr. Herbert Axelrod in 1998. The Florian Zajic had also been played by the violinist, Rodney Friend, in 1986.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Amati, Nicolo
Place Made
Italy: Lombardy, Cremona
Physical Description
spruce (overall material)
maple (overall material)
overall: 23 1/2 in x 8 1/16 in x 3 7/8 in; 59.69 cm x 20.47875 cm x 9.8425 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Evelyn and Herbert R. Axelrod
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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