Nicolò Amati Violoncello: the "Herbert"

Nicolò Amati Violoncello: the "Herbert"

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Description

This violoncello was made by Nicolò Amati in Cremona, Italy, 1677. It is the Herbert violoncello with a two-piece spruce top of medium to wide grained with wings to the flanks, two-piece back of quarter sawn poplar, ribs of maple cut on the slab, and scroll (probably by a later hand) of maple cut on the quarter. The golden-brown is applied over a golden ground. There is an original printed label inside the instrument:

Nicolaus Amatus Cremonen. Hieronymi
Fil. ac Antonij Nepos Fecit. 1677

[“77” is handwritten]

Beginning in the late 19th century, this violoncello was owned for some fifty years by Mr. George Herbert, an amateur musician of London, and today bears his name to help trace its history. It 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.

Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
cello
Date made
1677
maker
Amati, Nicolo
place made
Italy: Lombardy, Cremona
Physical Description
spruce (overall material)
poplar (overall material)
maple (overall material)
Measurements
overall:: 49 in x 17 7/8 in x 10 in; 124.46 cm x 45.4025 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
2000.0100.04
accession number
2000.0100
catalog number
2000.0100.04
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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