The Stati D'Anime of S. Faustino in Cremona: Tracing the Amati Family 1641-1686
Philip J. Kass
Ever since I began searching for information on the makers of the Italian School, I have found that the most difficult phase of research has been in locating their whereabouts with enough accuracy so that actual birth and death records can be discovered. While the mercantile British, in whose archives my previous work has been conducted, have excellent directories and spotty church records, the Italians have often wonderful church records and very sparse business records. It was during a visit in 1990 that I first encountered one of the most interesting and informative records kept by the Church in Italy, the Stati d'Anime.
The Stati d'Anime, also called a family registry, was essentially an annual census conducted by the parish priest on the Monday following Easter, a day which is still a holiday in Italy. Through it the church could keep close account of its parishioners and maintain political and financial authority over seventeenth century society. This record keeping was one of the many rules arising from the Council of Trent in 1563 and, after a slow start, became a custom maintained up to the nineteenth century, continuing in many places even after the arrival of Napoleon and the establishment of civil registers.
While searching for other information, I could not resist examining the records of the parishes in which Stradivari, the Amatis and the Guarneris had lived and died and created their masterpieces, and so I found myself looking at the microscopic scrawl of the long dead priest of the postage stamp sized Parish of S. Faustino e Giovita, located in the center of Cremona on what is today the Via Guarneri del Gesu, named for possibly the only important Cremonese master never to have worked there. Despite my great excitement at having in my hands a document which spanned the dust of centuries, it was only after my return to Philadelphia that the seed planted that day took root. Duane Rosengard graciously brought me a copy of those books after his next trip to Cremona, and the result can be read on the following pages.
Through these fascinating records, we can observe the lives of our subjects throughout the passing years, watching the changes in their neighborhoods, the births and deaths, and the rise and fall of families. These documents contain the life, for all intents and purposes, of Nicolo Amati. However, it is not my intent to write the biography of Nicolo Amati: these records are but one feature of his life, and as will be seen they are not always accurate. Much of our understanding of this family, however, has been based on these census returns, and since they have a habit of disappearing from time to time, I have decided that the best way to preserve the information that they contained is to print as much of their information with regard to Amati as possible in this forum.
For each year that I have a record, I reproduce my own deciphering of the Stato for the Casa Amati, including the errors where they appear, with additional observations and analysis where deemed appropriate. Filling in the gaps are the additional Amati records uncovered by Bonetti, which I have not as yet double-checked, but which are most likely accurate with the possible exception of printing errors.
I have chosen not to spell out the birth years suggested in each return except in a few cases, since this can easily be calculated by the reader and indeed should be, as it is a useful exercise in proofing the faulty estimates of both priests and parishioners. In most cases it is not important to the goal of this narrative.
S. FAUSTINO, THE AMATI FAMILY, AND RESEARCH
Since the 1530's, the Amati family has been connected to the Church of S. Faustino e Giovita, which was built in 1126. Record keeping began in earnest there about 1585, and Stati d'Anime for the parish have survived for the period since 1641 and, with the exception of the period 1670-79, proceed uninterrupted until the suppression of the parish in 1787. In that year its parishioners were absorbed into the Parish of S. Domenico and the Church was closed, to be demolished some time later and possibly as early as 1788.
Scholars on the violin began to realize the usefulness of these records only in the late nineteenth century, and since then these documents have figured strongly in three important books on the Cremonese violin makers. The first is Liutai Antichi e Moderni by Giovanni de Piccolellis, first published in Florence in 1885. This was the first book to detail the life of the Amati family by following their progress through the acts of baptism, confirmation, marriage, burial, and family registry. While it has been believed that these researches were conducted by de Piccolellis, using the original volumes sent to him from Cremona, the researches were actually conducted for de Piccolellis by Monsignor Gaetano Bazzi, canon of the Cathedral in Cremona and secretary to the Archbishop of Cremona. The results of these examinations were printed in the revised 1886 edition of de Piccolellis' book, and they have been the foundation of our knowledge of the Amati family. Monsignor Bazzi, unfortunately, scanned for the Amati name, assuming all Amatis were related, and while at one time they might have been, by the 1580's there were two distinct Amati families, one the noble de Amati family and the other the liutari Amati family, and they become intertwined in the de Picolellis appendix. However, also in this appendix is a remarkable document, a listing of apprentices culled from the Stati d'Anime, upon which our understanding of the progress of violin making has been based.
In 1925, during his researches for the Hill family and their planned book on the Guarneri family, Giovanni Livi also inspected the books for S. Faustino in connection to the chapter on Andrea Guarneri. The Hills made use of the Stati d'Anime, some of which are reproduced in The Violin Makers of the Guarneri Family (1626-1762), and apparently had Livi scanning the books for the whereabouts of Antonio Stradivari and other important Cremonese violin makers. Their listing of Amati apprentices, however, is based on that of de Piccolellis, from which it differs only in their reinterpretation of some of the names.
The third book is Carlo Bonetti's La Geneologia degli Amati Liutai e Il Primato della Scuola Liutistica Cremonese, published in Cremona in 1938. Bonetti calls into question much of de Piccolellis' work, though he finds the fault with de Piccolellis and not with Bazzi. He correctly notes those places where the violinmaker Amatis and the noble de Amati family are swept up in the same net and confused with one another. However, he faults de Piccolellis for having had the books sent to Florence and for then not having returned them, citing in particular missing census returns for many years 1646, 1653, 1654, 1666 to 1668, and 1680 to 1684, years which included some reproduced in the Hill book. For this reason, Bonetti relied not upon the Stati d'Anime but rather on the other church records and notarial documents. The Stati d'Anime, however, were never out of the city. De Picolellis never claimed to have had them, and indeed the Hills' reproductions, published only seven years before Bonetti's book, offer proof of this. Today these records are bound together, but it is hard to see how they would ever have been apart.
Since Bonetti made little use of Stati d'Anime, and was interested primarily in the Amatis, he offered no listing of apprentices, something which was in any case outside of the scope of his book. One can also question how much he might have used these documents had they been accessible, for even though a full record was available for Girolamo II he only refers to them for a few random years. We must also not lose sight of the fact that, as important as the Amati family was to him, Bonetti was also consumed by the fires of civic pride running rampant throughout the Risorgimento, and was anxious to secure for Cremona, once and for all, the pride and honor of being the birthplace of violin making, a distinction then being challenged by Brescia and Bologna through their champions Sacchi and Strocchi. Indeed, the entire second half of Bonetti's book, and many of the footnotes, are devoted to just this goal.
The books, then, were not lost, but they certainly could have been misfiled. Most likely they were either being stored in another location or were in the care of an archivist who simply did not wish to be bothered to find them, a problem frequently encountered by researchers everywhere and particularly well known to those who have worked in Italian archives. They are now in excellent hands and are kept in the Archivio Diocesano di Cremona.
THE PARISH OF S. FAUSTINO
The Parish of S. Faustino seems always to have been one of the arts and crafts. In addition to the violin makers who clustered around this area, we find repeated references to artistic endeavors in this district. Among the names we will shortly see connected to the Parish are those of the Capra, the Ferraboschi, and the Pescaroli - all famed as wood sculptors, wood carvers, painters, and architects.
Those acquainted with the Hill book are also familiar with the map of 1704 reprinted on p. 122 as part of Chapter VI, the Casa Guarneri. On p. 125, a detail of that same map is printed, showing the location of S. Domenico and the Casa Guarneri in relation to the Duomo and other important structures in Cremona at that time. During the 1750's, at the request of the Austrian rulers of Lombardy, a new map, illustrating the parishes and house numbers of Cremona, was created. It is known as the Catasto Teresiano. A detail of that map is shown as Illustration 1, which covers more or less the same territory covered in the Hill reproduction. Illustration 2, with highlighting to clarify the parish, reproduces primarily the Parish of S. Faustino. As we can see, it is tiny, consisting of nothing more than the Contrada de Coltellai. There are 17 residences in the parish, likely conforming to the 17 found at the death of Amati. While the parish had changed little since 1684, we see from Illustration 3, a detail of the map of 1852, reproducing the Numero Civico system instituted in 1787, that there had been substantial alteration to the left side of the street. These changes had occurred before 1787, for they are reflected in the Stati d'Anime for S. Domenico at that time. Besides the demolition of the church, they indicate that all structures on that side of the street were either demolished or substantially rebuilt into new larger buildings.
The block, or isola, on the right hand side of the Coltellai in this map is a very interesting one, since it could fairly be considered the true home of Cremonese violin making. It is divided between three parishes: S. Faustino, S. Mateo (on the side facing S. Domenico), and S. Nicola, the Jesuit parish. Between S. Nicola and S. Mateo runs the back alley known as the Guasto or Vasto. On the S. Mateo portion were located #21, the house of Antonio Stradivari and his sons, who were there from 1680 to 1745, tenanted by Carlo Bergonzi and his sons from 1746 to 1758, and #25, the Casa Arighi, formerly the house of Andrea Guarneri, his sons and grandsons, and occupied by them from 1653 to 1740. When the Hills visited Cremona in 1925, this isola was substantially intact, as can be seen from their photograph of the Casa Guarneri reproduced on p. 126 of their book. It is therefore one of the supreme ironies of the violin world that this entire block was demolished shortly thereafter, even as plans for the Stradivari Bicentennial and the International School of Violin Making were under way.
THE CASA AMATI
Many scholars have attempted to determine the exact location of the Casa Amati. Most have relied on a small map, first printed in George Hart's book The Violin: Its Famous Makers and Players, and frequently reprinted in magazines and books on the classic violin makers. In this map, the Casa Amati is identified as the very small house at the corner of the Contrada del Coltellai and the Piazza S. Domenico, which in the late eighteenth century numbering system was the last house on the street. We can see from the Stati d'Anime that this house, and indeed most of the houses identified as the abodes of violin makers, was not the correct one, and that an accurate map of the violin makers' homes would look far different.
Can we locate the Casa Amati? With further researches, yes, but on the basis alone of the present seventeenth century Stati d'Anime we cannot. First we must consider how the records were taken by the priest. Logic would suggest that, in a parish that consisted solely of one street, the priest would start at one end, go up one side and return down the other. While this was substantially the method used, it is never apparent that this was consistently done. Furthermore, the seventeenth century priest frequently did not record house names, house vacancies, or buildings not used for residential purposes. The Casa Amati and its neighboring houses are continually jumbled in the returns, the only consistency being that the Casa Amati always appears near the end. This is illustrated in the discussion of the specific census returns. We also have no way of knowing whether Amati always remained in the one house, inherited from his father and grandfather, or whether he moved on the street at any time, since there have not been adequate searches concerning property transactions. Girolamo II is another variable, for we need to know whether the Casa Amati-Pizzamiglio of 1740 is the same as the Casa Amati of 1684. Tracing these steps, though, in the manner of Arnaldo Baruzzi, should yield the desired answer. But while we have no certainty, we can make an educated guess. Let us first consider Bonetti's researches.
Bonetti seemed not to be interested in the whereabouts of the Casa Amati, for he does not discuss it. Perhaps he thought the question had been answered. Did he know that it had been demolished within the ten years prior to his book being published in 1937? If so, we might excuse him for his unwillingness to discuss this further in print.
He does reproduce two extracts from notarial documents concerning the residence of the Amatis. The first is on p. 11, and concerns Andrea Amati's lease on 12 February, 1538, of a house in S. Faustino, as follows: `...specifically a house or rather, a plot of residential land on which are a house with storefront and small courtyard, a well, a cellar and other offices situated in the Parish of S. Faustino, Cremona. This is bordered by the street and by the houses of Don Piero Maria de Vayrolis and Bartolomeo de Barosi....'(p. 17, Draley translation of Bonetti 1989)
The lease is for five years, but it is not evident either that the lease was renewed or that the house sold to Andrea. However, this is the first time that the Amatis appear in S. Faustino, and by the time the Church begins taking records there they are firmly entrenched.
On pp. 27 - 30 of his book, he describes further property transactions that occurred from 1588 to 1607 between Girolamo I and Antonio, but if the exact location of the house is given in the notarial acts he does not repeat it. He did, however, give us a vague verbal description, drawn from the act of August 1607, after the death of Antonio, when a room in the house is sold: `(a room) on the ground floor (with a solarium above) all the way to the roof, inclusive, communicating by a window with the courtyard of the house described below, situated in the quarter of S. Faustino'. (from p. 53, Draley translation of Bonetti 1989)
What we find described here is a large house, with several wings, and a courtyard which must be behind its frontage on Contrada del Coltellai, in short, a house not at all dissimilar to the one leased by Andrea in 1538. This property is a substantial one, mid-block, and is certainly not the postage stamp located on the corner where tradition has placed it.
Now let us return to the Catasto Teresiano. One of the main purposes of this map was to enable the Austrians to determine their tax base, and to that end they compiled a massive volume which lists every building in Cremona, noting parish, house number, owner, general size and location, present application, and value. The house numbers given specifically conform to those of the Catasto Teresiano. This tabulation was prepared in 1757, and so we should see much that is familiar. For example, #21 in the parish of S. Mateo is the Casa Stradivari, owned by Paolo, son of the late Antonio.
S. Faustino in the 1757 tabulation still consists of the same seventeen buildings we find in 1684. Let us make an assumption, that Andrea Amati left the house to Girolamo I, who left it to Nicolo, who left it to Girolamo II, and that in turn Girolamo, with no male heirs, left it to his son in law Carlo Antonio Pizzamiglio, who, if not alive in 1757, would have left it to his oldest son Giuseppe. Let us further assume that this residence is still the same as that of 1538. These assumptions are unproven but are most likely correct. In this scenario, we should find a Pizzamiglio living on the Contrada Coltellai. In fact, we find two, Giuseppe and his younger brother Carlo. Giuseppe occupies #9, Carlo #7. #9 is a large property, one of the largest in the parish, with good frontage opposite the Church of S. Faustino and a back entrance through the Guasto, that back alley loading dock that was also shared by Guarneri. It matches the characteristics described in the brief documents uncovered by Bonetti, with more than ample room for a courtyard. On the Numero Civico map, its location would be roughly around #1251. Was #8 originally an Amati property? Possibly, but had it been part of the original house it would not have met the description in the notarial acts. A more likely case would be made that it was a later acquisition by Pizzamiglio to provide for his other son. Further researches will answer this question.
We must be prepared to discount the other bit of information that the Hart map would lead us to believe, that Amati, unlike all other violin makers, had a workshop apart from his home, and furthermore, in another parish, S. Mateo. We see year after year that Amati housed apprentices, and that his house included a bottega, and the books of S. Mateo give us neither an Amati workshop nor a house of that name.
THE STATI D'ANIME OF S. FAUSTINO
Every year, after Easter, the parish priest would devote his day to visiting each house within his parish, listing all the occupants by name, age, and relation to the head of household, and recording whether they were confessant, confirmed, and communicant. He would then list his totals at the end of the page so that they would be available for the proper authorities. Each year's return would be recorded in the same book on the succeeding pages so that eventually decades would be condensed into one volume. Today, these are all bound together in consecutive order. The priest at S. Faustino, having the smallest parish in Cremona, needed very little paper, and we should think he had an easy time of it.
Much has already been said, in the context of the Casa Amati, about the census taking procedure. It suffices to add that much is occurring in this parish, with regard to construction, demolition, abandonment of property, and so on, which cause our enumeration of houses to fluctuate considerably, on which the census takers never commented, and on which we may never have answers. We can see that between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the general method of census taking changed and the standard became more rigorous. By the 1700's, the priest had reversed the direction he followed in taking the census and had also begun to record the sort of information that we wish they had thought to record earlier. This is the record keeping method we find in place by 1757.
S. FAUSTINO IN 1641
Our story begins not in 1641, the earliest year for which these documents survive, but rather in 1630, the year of the terrible plague which struck Cremona, Brescia, and much of Italy, taking with it Maggini, Girolamo Amati I and his wife, and much of the population of Cremona but fortunately sparing Nicolo Amati, 34 years old and a well trained and seasoned master violin maker. Whether the Stati d'Anime for the years 1630 to 1641 were taken and subsequently lost, or whether they were not taken at all due to the confusion and manpower shortages implicit to this situation and to rebuilding a shattered society, will perhaps never be known. While some assumptions about the Amati family can still be drawn from the later records, these crucial years apparently mark the entry into their workshop of apprentices who are not members of the family and who serve as the vehicle for the spreading of the Amati concept to other cities in Italy and elsewhere. During these years, Francesco Ruggieri should have served as an apprentice, and had Jacob Stainer studied in Cremona, it would likely have been at this time and with this master. In 1641, the first year for which the Stati d'Anime of the Parish of S. Faustino e Giovita have survived, there are but 111 residents to the entire parish, which is nothing more than the street of the Contrada Coltellai. These parishioners live in seven dwellings, of which the sixth recorded on the census is that of the Amati.
1641. Easter. Casa dell'Amati: Nicolo Amati d'anni 41 Elizabetta Sorella d'anni 62 Angela Nepote d'anni 31 Jacomo Genaro d'anni 17 Andrea Guarneri d'anni 15 All in the household, Nicolo, his sister and niece, and the two apprentices, are christened, confirmed, and communicant. If we calculate ages for each, we can see the variability of these documents, for if accuracy were the main concern of the priest, Nicolo's age would be 45, not 41. Not having access to birth records, but with comparisons to later stati d'anime, we must accept Elisabetta's birth date as circa 1579 and that of Angela as 1609.
The last two names are considered the first two students of Nicolo Amati, Giacomo Gennaro and Andrea Guarneri. We know them as makers from their own works; this census gives the earliest documentation of their having been apprentices of Nicolo Amati. Gennaro, slightly older than his fellow apprentice, would have been born about 1624, and Andrea Guarneri, about 1626. Curiously absent from the Parish return is Francesco Ruggieri. Had he lived in the dwelling identified by past scholars as the Casa Ruggieri he would surely have appeared here. Equally curious is the fact that Andrea Guarneri does appear here. We shall observe from future returns that most assistants in later years are non-Cremonese, and one doubts that the Cremonese pupils needed a residence in the city. The unmistakable impression is that apprentices lived there because they had nowhere else to go. Ruggieri might have lived with his parents in another neighboring parish, but then why did not Andrea Guarneri? Is it possible that this fledgling master, whose birth records are as yet undiscovered and whose father's name is learned only from his marriage certificate, was like his master an orphan? Or was he also a foreigner, whose marriage to Orcelli gained him not only a home but also the right to stay and work in Cremona? Since his earliest record is this one, and the earliest labeled instrument dates from 1638, the missing documents might have revealed more on these unanswered questions.
Andrea is in the Casa Amati from at latest 1641 to 1646, possibly 1647, and then again from 1650 to 1653. Giacomo Gennaro is known as an exceptionally rare violin maker. He was probably Cremonese, as he labeled a handful of instruments from that city during the 1650s, although he could have married into a Cremonese family and thus gained his working papers. Other than this scant evidence, we have nothing further on either his life or career. He is present in the house from at latest 1641 to 1646 and possibly 1647.
Before continuing, let us reflect for a moment on the state of violin making in Cremona at this time. There are hardly any instruments dating from the decade of the 1630's, a time of such enormous grief and suffering to Cremonese of all social ranks due to both the Plague and the famine years which followed. No doubt there were no buyers lining up outside the Amati door. By 1640 all this has changed, and we see the art of violin making reviving. However, with the exception of these two apprentices, and possibly Francesco Ruggieri, Nicolo Amati is `the only game in town', with no serious competitors in the city or, for that matter, anywhere else on the Italian Peninsula. Violin and lute-makers in other cities were for the most part of German origin, and the fact that their names are footnotes in most books on violin makers adds to the impression of the Amati dominance.
By the 1660's, this is no longer the case, for while his contemporaries in Cremona were no real competition he no longer had the monopoly. Perhaps we should not be surprised that we shall not see Cremonese pupils after the 1650's, at least not in his home.
1642. Easter. Casa dell'Amati: Nicolo Amati d'anni 45 Elisabetta Sorella d'anni 63 Angela Nepote d'anni 33 Jacomo Genaro d'anni 18 Andrea Guarnerio d'anni 16 Marallina Urbana d'anni 18 Catterina serva (servant) d'anni 32
Elizabetta is Isabella, daughter of Girolamo Amati I and his wife Lucrezia de Cornetis. She is Nicolo's half-sister and the widow of Giovanni Battista de Ferrari. In a notarial act of 1632, she confirmed that she was resident in the Casa Amati, and that she had with her `movable belongings and household furniture'. Angela is Nicolo's niece. Though her last name is not given, we shall see that it is safe to assume that she is Elizabetta's daughter. The Urbani take their name from Francesco Urbano, third husband of Nicolo's aunt Valeria. A long procession of Urbani, five in all, came and went from the Casa Amati between 1642 and 1653. Without further research into their family tree it will not be possible to tell exactly what their relationship is to Valeria or to one another, but it does seem clear that they would be children of a son or nephew of Valeria and that their parent or parents would have died probably in 1641 or 42. Nicolo Amati was an uncle, cousin, or godparent who took them under his wing. Two of the Urbani are also called Frazza, the name of Valeria's second husband, raising the possibility that they are cousins, all lumped together through shared tragedy. There is as yet no answer to their whereabouts prior to 1641, or why they straggle into the house in different years.
We should also take note of the arrival of Catterina, the servant. She is yet another sign of the success of the household, and while servants will come and go, there will always be one, with the exception of but two years, from now until the Casa Amati ceases to be called by that name.
1643. Easter. The parish priest found no substantive change in the parish rolls and thus did not record a new census, instead simply listing the number of parishioners, the communicant, and the confessant.
1644. Easter. Casa dell'Amati: Nicolo Amati d'anni 46 Elisabetta Sorella d'anni 64 Angela Nepote d'anni 35 Jacomo Genaro d'anni 20 Andrea Guarnerio d'anni 18 Margaretta serva d'anni 17 Lucia serva d'anni 52 Benedetto Urbano d'anni 12 Valeria Urbana d'anni 4
Marallina is no longer present, but her place has been taken by her brother Benedetto and sister Valeria. Where have the Urbani been up until this time? The assumption would be that the family was split up, the members being distributed among those other family members who could handle the responsibility. Then as now, this tends to be how such issues are dealt with. Clearly, though, either through his greater wealth or through his own sense of family, Nicolo increasingly will assume this task.
An interesting and very human portrait, therefore, begins to emerge of Nicolo Amati. Unmarried at 48, slightly older than the age given by the parish priest and long past the traditional marrying age, he seems a true capofamiglia. He has a workshop which, judging by his production for this decade, must have been busy and successful, enough so to require two apprentices with whom he seemed to have forged a close relationship. He has offered a home to his family, his apprentices, and to distant family in need. When the time does arise to marry, he will provide for his other relatives in an appropriate way. He has several servants who must have been an enormous help in maintaining such a large household. The presence of so many in the house suggests how large the dwelling must have been. One would expect the Urbani to leave as they marry, and this may have been the reason for Marallina's departure. No examinations of the records have been made on this matter, and it would be interesting to know if Nicolo supplied dowries for each girl.
1645. Easter. Casa dell'Amati: Nicolo Amati d'anni 47 Elisabetta Sorella d'anni 65 Angela Nepote d'anni 36 Jacomo Genaro d'anni 21 Andrea Guarnerio d'anni 19 Valeria Urbana d'anni 6 Anna Urbana d'anni 3 Margaritta serva d'anni 18 Maria serva d'anni 10 Benedetto Urbano d'anni 12
May 18. Nicolo gave his niece Angela de Ferrari a small property with house in the parish of S. Nicolo. May 23. Nicolo Amati married Lucrezia Pagliari, daughter of the late Giovanni Battista Pagliari of the parish of S. Vincenzo. The service was conducted by Don Michele Pagliari, regular cleric of S. Paolo, who was probably her uncle, and among the witnesses was Andrea Guarneri.
These last two events are of course closely connected. It is interesting to see how Nicolo had provided for his sister and niece, opened space in his home for his bride, and kept his family obligations as capo all at the same time. Anna Urbana has joined her siblings in the household.
February 1. Girolamo Francesco, first child of Nicolo and Lucrezia, was born in S. Faustino. He died on September 8, 1648, and was buried in the family crypt in S. Domenico. He appears in the household list for 1646 to 1648. Easter. Casa dell'Amati: Nicolo Amati d'anni 48 Lucrezia Moglie d'anni 36 Girolamo Francesco figlio d'anni 1 Jacomo Genaro d'anni 22 Andrea Guarnerio d'anni 20 Benedetto Urbano d'anni 13 Elena Urbana d'anni 11 Valeria Urbana d'anni 7 Anna Urbana d'anni 5 Margaritta serva d'anni 19
Nicolo's wife is now listed in the household. Angela has most likely moved into the house in S. Nicolo, and Elizabetta has probably joined her there. The Urbani clan, meanwhile, has expanded further with the addition of Elena. It would seem that Lucrezia assumed the role of a mother rather earlier than she might have expected, considering the growing number of Urbani children. The presence of a servant, though, suggests the Amati wealth, and one must question whether Lucrezia's household responsibilities involved cooking or cleaning.
We are passing over territory ripe for research. Bonetti does not seem to have given much attention to the marriage of Nicolo Amati and Lucrezia Pagliari. We do not know anything of her family background save what is apparent from the marriage record. We know nothing of siblings, family connections, or homes and properties. She married at what is still today considered a late age. Was this her first marriage, or did she too suffer a great loss in 1630? For that matter, in 1645 Nicolo is 49. Could he have been married before, only to lose a wife and children to the plague?
One interesting change in the parish is that the Arnolfi family, which has lived next door to the Amatis and preceded then on the census, now has their house described as the Casa del Liutaro alias del Arnolfi. It is now occupied by the Perazzi family. Also of interest is the fact that the house listed last, the Casa verso il Guasto, is no longer mentioned, and the Amati house is now the last one on the census.
Easter. The priest noted no change at all in the parish; therefore no new census was taken. All the changes of this year, and there were many, happened after Easter. August 13-21. Benedetto de Fraza, called de Urbano, son of Giovanni Battista of S. Faustino, having reached the age of 15, gave to Nicolo Amati the dowry which was formerly that of his mother. A Giovanni Battista de Fraza was the second husband of Valeria Amati, just preceding Francesco Urbano. The exact connection to the Amatis is not clear, the most likely circumstance being that Benedetto is Valeria's grandson. October 4. Nicolo's second child, Teresa Francesca, was born and baptised.
Easter. Casa del Liutaro: Nicolo Amati d'anni 50 Lucrezia Moglie d'anni 28 Girolamo figlio d'anni 3 Teresa Francesca figlia d'anni 2 Elena Urbana d'anni 14 Valeria Urbana d'anni 9 Anna Urbana d'anni 7 Sanza --- serva d'anni 25 Margaritta Anzonini d'anni 40
September 8. Girolamo Francesco died. His sister Teresa also died at some time before the 1649 census. Neither is listed in the household for the Stato d'Anime of 1649. Benedetto Urbano, following his agreement with Nicolo the previous year, has left the house. The Amati house is now called Casa del Liutaro, like the former Casa del Arnolfi next door. The first house is occupied by Carlo Borella, his wife and three daughters. Guarneri and Genaro are no longer in the Casa dall'Amati. Margaritta Anzonini's presence there is unclear. She may be another serva, but is not the same Margaritta who appeared on the 1646 return. She stays only for this year and is gone by 1649.
February 26. Girolamo Amati II born, son of Nicolo Amati and Lucrezia Pagliari. Baptised March 1, Parr. S. Faustino e Giovita. The godparents were Nicolo Ferrari, a relative by marriage, and `the illustrious Marchioness Ariberti' of the parish of S. Vito. He is also listed in the Stato d'Anime that Easter. Easter. Casa del Liutaro: Nicolo Amati d'anni 51 Lucrezia Moglie d'anni 29 Girolamo figlio d'anni 1 Elena Urbana d'anni 15 Valeria Urbana d'anni 10 Anna Urbana d'anni 8
This house is the second called Casa del Liutaro. The first Casa del Liutaro is occupied by the Ferigna family and Catterina Quinzana, age 36, and her children Girolama, 12, and Teresa, 10. This is one of the two years when no servant appears in the household.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 52 Lucrezia Moglie 29 Girolamo figlio 1 Elena Urbana 14 Valeria Urbana 11 Anna Urbana 9 Andrea Garzone 26 Giaccoma serva 13
November 30. A fourth child, Teresa, was baptised. The second Casa del Liutaro is again listed as the Casa Amati. Andrea (Guarneri) `Garzone', aged 26, is back on the census. Where had he been living in the past years? The first Casa del Liutaro is now called the Casa Ferigna; possibly they have purchased it from Amati, although Bonetti did not record any notarial acts concerning such a property transaction.
A tragedy appears to be taking place in the Quinzana family. Where Catterina Quinzana and her daughters were in the Ferigna household in 1649, now only the eldest daughter Girolama remains, apparently in a servant capacity. Broken families such as this one were the almost inevitable end result of the death of the husband, for unless there were charitable relatives or there was money in the family for living expenses, they could not afford to stay together, and unless there was money for dowries there was little hope of a good marriage for the daughters or of any life other than servitude. This is why the godparents were so essential to the extended family structure of the seventeenth century. S. Faustino has a new priest this year. Unfortunately, his handwriting is worse than that of his predecessor.
Easter. Casa del Amati: Nicolo Amati 53 Lucrezia Moglie 28 Girolamo figlio 2 Teresa filia 1 Elena Urbana 13 Valeria Urbana 12 Anna Urbana 10 9 Andrea Garzone 27 Impolita serva 14 The fact that Anna Urbana's age is entered twice on the census suggests the confusion that the parish priests often had over detail.
Easter. Casa del Amati: Nicolo Amati 54 Lucrezia Moglie 29 Girolamo figlio 3 Teresa filia 2 Valeria Urbana 13 Anna Urbana 11 Andrea Garzone 28 Impolita serva 15
December 31. Andrea Guarneri married Anna Maria Orcelli, also of the parish of S. Faustino. Elena Urbana left the Casa Amati. She is too young to have married. Did she move to another home, such as her sister's residence? Or had she died?
Easter. Casa dell'Amati: Nicolo Amati 55 Lucrezia moglie 30 Girolamo figlio 4 Teresa figlia 2 Impolita serva 13(4) Anna Frazza 12 Stessa Casa: Andrea Guarneri 29 Anna Maria Moglie 28 Leopoldi Todesca 28 Francesco Mola 12 Gio Batta ---- 39 Angelina Moglie 23
June 6. Giovanni Battista, fifth child of Nicolo Amati and Lucrezia Pagliari, was born. Andrea Guarneri and his new wife are found that Easter still living in the Casa Amati. His age is given as 29; that of his wife is given as 28. Also resident in the house is Leopoldo `Todesca'(?), aged 28 (b. 1625?), Francesco Mola, aged 12 (b. 1641?), Gio Batta(?)(no surname), aged 39, and his wife Angelina (Angelica?), aged 23. Valeria Urbana left the Casa Amati, and interestingly, her sister Anna who remains is now known not as an Urbana but rather as a Frazza, like her brother Benedetto. Were the other Urbani also Frazzi? Like Elena, Valeria is also too young to have married, and like her siblings she disappears into history.
The increase in apprentices suggests increased trade. Leopoldi has always been called `Tedesco', the German, and while Todesca might mean this it could also be a proper family name. That he was a foreigner does not seem in doubt, for as a foreigner he could not stay in the city or open a business and therefore would never be the competitor to Amati that any of the local boys could be. He is in the house until 1654, is missing for 1655 and reappears for the final time in 1656. Bletschacher found him living later in Rome, a frequent destination of Tyrolean liutari, and on the basis of a cryptic notation on an entry there believes he might be a member of the Eberle family. He states that Leopoldi was in Cremona from 1643 until 1654, and while he could possibly have lived nearby he clearly was not in the Amati home. This does seem curious, since Amati had two other apprentices in his home, young men certainly but also Cremonese, during these same years. Why would Leopoldi not have joined them?
Leopoldi was completely unknown before de Picolellis uncovered him, calling him Tedesco. Since then labels have been cited in various books, all using this form. I have only heard of one putative original label for Leopoldi, dating from Rome. Without closer inspection I am inclined to dismiss the others as at best questionable. Had any writer working before de Picolellis seen and noted an instrument bearing this label, we might hold it with more regard, but unfortunately none do, a fact we can only consider with a fair bit of healthy suspicion concerning the later sightings.
Francesco Mola, aged 12, is another new apprentice. He is only there in 1653 and 1655. No instrument bearing this label has ever been pointed out to me as original, and if he were a maker none of his instruments survive. Again, he was first discovered by de Picolellis, so, like Todesca, had he actually made instruments, one of the early writers would have noted the label.
We do not know whether Mola was Cremonese, but the mysterious Gio Batta with the illegible last name, present only in 1653, living there with his wife, probably is. It is important to remember that the classical violin maker could not call Gewa for supplies; every part of the violin, pegs, fingerboards, cases, bows, and all the other rough work, had to be done on premises. Their very presence in his house indicated that Nicolo could afford not to do every stage of the work, and we should not in the least bit be surprised if the style of the apprentice should disappear behind the style of the master, just as it did in the workshop of J. B. Vuillaume.
Easter. Casa del Amati: Nicolo Amati 56 Lucrezia moglie 31 Girolamo filio 5 Teresa filia 3 Impolita serva 14 Anna frazza 13 Gio Batta filio 1 Leopoldo familio 30 Bottega seguente: Giuseppe Malagamba 20 Gio Batta fratello 17 Giacomo fratello 10
September 27. Giovanni Battista, born in 1653, died and was buried in S. Faustino.
The Casa Ferigna has been sold and is now occupied by the Rolla family. Andrea Guarneri and his wife are no longer in the Casa Amati, having moved to the Parish of S. Mateo, and the portion where they lived in 1653, identified at that time as `stessa casa', is now called `Bottega seguente'. Resident there are the three brothers Malagamba, Giuseppe, aged 20, GioBatta, aged 17, and Giacomo, aged 10. Leopoldo is now listed as `familia' and appears as the last resident in the main portion of the Amati household. His age is given as 30. Francesco Mola has moved. Had he gone with the Guarneris, or was he inadvertently missed by the priest? In any event, he could not have been far away, and reappeared the following year.
Who are the Malagambas? Their name is completely unknown in violin making literature, and yet here is a family whose role in the shop is clear from their occupation of quarters clearly described as the Bottega. We must again recall the closing remarks of the past year. Furthermore, they are no flash in the pan, for they reappear not only in 1655 but also years later, in 1666, and even show up many years later living in close proximity to Carlo Bergonzi and his young children.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 57 Lucrezia moglie 32 Girolamo filio 6 Teresa filia 4 Anna frazza 14 Maria serva 15 Francesco Mola 14 (Next house:) Giuseppe Malagamba 21 Gio Batta fratello 18 Appolonia moglie 18
July 16. A daughter, Anna Maria, sixth child of Amati, was born and baptised. One of her godparents is Don Sebastiano Ferabosca, of the parish of S. Agostino, related no doubt to the Ferraboschi who are Nicolo's neighbors in S. Faustino.
Francesco Mola, aged 14, returns to the main portion of the Casa Amati. Giacomo Malagamba is no longer listed in the Bottega, but Appolonia wife of GioBatta, aged 18, is. As an aside, Giuseppe Malagamba is recorded as non-confessant.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 58 Lucrezia moglie 33 Girolamo filio 7 Teresa filia 5 Anna frazza 15 Anna Maria filia 1 Maria (serva) 15 Leopoldi Toradi(sic) 32
`Leopoldi' returns to the Amati household. No return is given for the Bottega. Francesco Mola is again missing, this time for good. To save space, the parish priest has taken to writing the entire return on one sheet of paper, and has chosen to remove house names.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 59 Lucrezia moglie 34 Girolamo filio 8 Teresa filia 6 Anna frazza 16 Maria serva 16 Anna Maria filia 2
August 14. A seventh child, again named Giovanni Battista, on the 13th was born and on the 18th was baptised in the parish of S. Faustino. Only members of the immediate family with servants are recorded.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 60 Lucrezia moglie 35 Girolamo filio 9 Teresa filia 7 Anna Maria filia 3 Gio Batta filio 1 Anna frazza 17 Maria serva 17 The Amati house is now listed next to last.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 61 Lucrezia moglie 36 Girolamo filio 10 Teresa filia 8 Anna Maria filia 4 Gio Batta filio 2 Maria serva 18 Anna frazza 18
October 11. The eighth child, Giuseppe, was born and baptised. He does not appear on the census until 1667, and at that time is called Gio Batta. He and his older brother Giovanni Battista seem to give the recording priest enormous confusion, as can be seen by the numerous errors in their listings over the years.
Possibly in a subdivided Amati house, in the Bottega, or in another house resides the family of GioBatta Guarneri, aged 55 (b. 1604?) (uncle of Andrea?), with wife Anna Maria, sons Giacomo and Nicolo, daughters Annunziata (Calidonia?), Antonia, Margaritta and Monica, and Gioanna Marina (Mazzina?), aged 66 (sister? or widow of Bartolomeo?). The family remains in the parish through the 1660's, except that Margaritta is missing after 1661 and Gioanna after 1662.
Four houses away from the Amatis live the Ferraboschi, including their daughter Francesca, who will wed Antonio Stradivari in 1665. Across the street from the Amatis live members of the Capra family, one of whose nephews will become Francesca's first husband. It is easy to take the close proximity of these people to Amati and use it to create a scenario for Stradivari's presence in the area but it is important to recall that all of that is speculative. Stradivari was living in the Parish of S. Cecilia, which had the worst kept records in all Cremona. His connection to S. Faustino, though, seems to be through his connection to Pescaroli, who lived just across the street from Amati and into whose second house near S. Leonardo Stradivari and Ferraboschi moved after their marriage. Amati's proximity to the Ferraboschi and Capra clans offers tantalizing but ultimately inconclusive suggestions of a Stradivari apprenticeship in the Amati workshop. As for the long, elaborate, sordid, and surprisingly well documented tale of Francesca Ferraboscha, it was well covered in an essay by Ugo Gualazzini, published in Antonio Stradivari: Notizie e Documenti, written with Bonetti and Agostino Cavalcabo in 1937, and is better dealt with in another article.
It would be nice to know, though, what profession the Ferraboschi followed and, given the baptismal document of 1655, how extensive were the ties between the Amati and Ferraboschi.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 62 Lucrezia moglie 37 Girolamo filio 11 Teresa filia 9 Anna Maria filia 5 Gio Batta filio 3 Anna frazza 19 Margaritta serva 13 Bartolomeo Pasta 20
The Guarneris are now across the street, in the same house as the Capras. In the Amati household is now Bartolomeo Pasta, aged 20.
Pasta is a maker known not from his work but from an original label which has survived in the Hermann Collection. He can be firmly pinpointed in Milan in 1681, at which time he claimed to have been a pupil of Amati, a claim which can now be confirmed. Here is additional evidence of the Amati tradition being carried out by a pupil in Milan during the late 1600's, before the proliferation of commercial makers such as the Testori and the later Grancini. Bartolomeo is believed to have been the father of Gaetano Pasta, who called himself Milanese and who worked in Brescia at just about the time that the Rogeri family ceases its violin making endeavors.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 63 Lucrezia moglie 38 Girolamo filio 12 Teresa filia 10 Anna Maria filia 6 Gioseppe filio 4 Anna frazza 20 Margaritta serva 14 Gio Batta Ruggieri (garzone) 19
October 28. Eufrosia Scolastica, ninth and final child of the Amatis, was baptised on the 27th. She is not recorded on a stati d'anime until 1663 or 1664.
Gio Batta is now recorded as Gioseppe, but Giuseppe is not listed at all, an indicator of the continuing confusion of the parish priest concerning their identities. Gio Batta `Ruggieri'(Rogeri?), aged 19 (b. 1642?), lives in the main house. His name is written above the scratched-out inscription `garzone'.
Giovanni Battista `Ruggieri' is probably Giovanni Battista Rogeri, Bolognese, for several reasons. Firstly, as a Bolognese, he would require a residence in Cremona, and it is already clear that the vast majority of Amati's live-in apprentices are foreigners. Secondly, Giovanni Battista Ruggieri, son of Francesco, as the son of a colleague, would not have required a residence, with its accompanying expenses, and would probably have been needed at home, so that an apprenticeship would have been very much of a day task. Thirdly, The similarities between the work of Girolamo II, young, impressionable, and ready for training this year, and Rogeri, who must have come to the shop already with some professional experience, are too strong to be overlooked. The possibility that this `Ruggieri' was there to teach the master's son cannot be overlooked. The similarity between Girolamo's and Rogeri's craft had in early years caused Girolamo to lose some of his identity. His actual existence was unknown to even such informed experts as Count Cozio di Salabue and the Mantegazza brothers, both of whom mistook the work of the former for the latter and both of whom, tellingly, referred to the Brescian maker as `Ruggieri'. Lastly, it is typical of the period for the residents of the various Italian cities to adapt foreign names to local usage, and hence a foreign Rogeri could easily become a Cremonese Ruggieri. This has also complicated efforts to clarify the individual personae of the Ruggieri and Rogeri families and has resulted in the son of Francesco Ruggieri being constantly confused with the Bolognese Rogeri. No doubt it was with good reason that Rogeri always called himself Bolognese on his labels.
Rogeri's presence in the shop, from 1661 to possibly 1663, roughly coincides with Stradivari's supposed apprenticeship. The clear absence of the latter in the workshop raises many questions. If he had his own residence, where was it, and who lived there with him? The answers are lost somewhere in the morass of S. Cecilia. Our only evidence that he actually even served an apprenticeship in the Amati workshop is a label which he only used in the first year of his career. As has already been noted, while there is much to suggest his presence around the Contrada Coltellai, it points to Pescaroli rather than to Amati. This does not, though, rule out an apprenticeship.
One wonders at what conversations and friendships might have been forged in that workshop, possibly between Pasta and Rogeri, the former just departing to Milan, the latter just arrived from Bologna. What possible impact might such a friendship have had on Rogeri's decision to settle in Brescia, or on Gaetano Pasta's decision to settle in the town of his father's colleague in Cremona?
Easter. Nicolo Amati 64 Lucrezia moglie 39 Girolamo filio 13 Teresa filia 11 Anna Maria filia 7 Gioseppe filio 5 Margaritta serva 15 Gio Batta Rugieri 20 (Anna frazza's name is crossed off)
Anna Frazza probably either moved or married at Easter time and thus was both recorded and deleted from the census.
Gio Batta `Rugieri' is 20. It is interesting, in light of the similarities between the work of Rogeri and Girolamo Amati II, to note that Girolamo is 13 this year and should have begun his training by this time.
Before we take our final leave of the Urbani/Frazzi clan, we might again wonder at their relations to Amati. In order to better understand the extended family of Nicolo Amati, it would be very useful to know both where these people were living prior to their moves into the Casa Amati and where they went after leaving it. The knowledge of whether they became heiresses or housemaids will distinctly color our image of Nicolo. We can draw some inferences from their relative ages, and these are presented in the family tree shown as Table 1.
1663. The return for this year is missing from my copies. The positioning of families on the street is constantly changing, with the order of the Bianchettis, the Rossis, the Rollas, the Guarneris, the Fioris, the Coccas, etc. differing from year to year. An interesting name in the Cocca household is that of Bartolomeo dalla Valle, 49. It was the noble dalla Valle family which, when married into the Cozio family, eventually came into ownership of the Stradivari relics which the Count had purchased from Paolo Stradivari in 1775.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 66 Lucrezia moglie 41 Girolamo filio 15 Teresa filia 13 Anna Maria filia 9 Gioseppe filio 7 Eufrosia scholastica filia 2 Margaritta serva 17 --------- 19
This year, the last house in the census is that of the Rollas. They had previously been listed before the Amatis in the Stati d'Anime. It is not clear whether this is an actual move or a clerical error. There is one unclear new name in the Amati household, but it is not apparent whether this is an assistant or a servant. Rogeri/Rugieri is no longer there.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 67 Lucrezia moglie 42 Girolamo filio 16 Teresa filia 14 Anna Maria filia 10 Gioseppe filio 8 Eufrosia filia 3 Angela serva 12
The last house listed this year is that of the Bianchettis. The unclear name from the previous year is no longer listed. In this year the Hills first note the presence of `Staiber' in the Casa Guarneri (Hill, p.99).
Easter. Nicolo Amati 68 Lucrezia moglie 43 Girolamo filio 17 Teresa filia 15 Anna Maria filia 11 Gioseppe filio 9 Eufrosia filia 4 Angela serva 13 Giorgio Taiper 18 The next house is that of the Bianchetti, followed by the Framoli(?), then: Gio Batta Malagamba 30 Anna molie (sarti) 26 plus four children, and: Antonio Malagamba 21 Anna molie 21 and two children.
It is not clear that the Bianchetti are not in the Amati house, since there is no clear divider on the return. There is the suggestion of a divider between the Bianchetti and Framoli, and between the two Malagamba brothers.
Giorgio Taiber or Taiper, aged 18 (b. 1648?), has entered the household. Gio Batta Malagamba, aged 30, has returned to the parish with his wife and four children, as has Antonio Malagamba, aged 21, with his wife and two children, who seem to occupy possibly another floor of the house where Gio Batta lives.
Giorgio `Staiber', which I read as Taiber or Taiper, remained until 1667, and may have been working for Amati earlier, judging by the fact that he is recorded in the house of Andrea Guarneri in the parish of S. Mateo in 1665. This was probably the entry that has named him Staiber, as this is how it appears in those documents. He is clearly not a Cremonese, his name suggesting that he may come from the Tyrol. He falls in the same category as the Malagambas and Leopoldi, as a worker who served the violinmaker but is not known to have made instruments under his own label. The reappearance of the Malagambas is also very interesting, confirming their involvement with the Amatis. Could Antonio be Giacomo, who lived in the parish for just one year, in 1654? Their ages would be the same.
In Burney's account of his journey to Italy, he refers in complimentary terms to a singer named Teiber. Unfortunately, no nationality or home is given. Could this be the correct spelling of Taiper's name, and if so, from where would he have come?
Easter. Nicolo Amati 69 Lucrezia molie 44 Girolamo filio 18 Teresa filia 16 Anna Maria filia 12 Gioseppe filio 10 Eufrosia filia 5 Gio Batta filio 7 Giorgio Taiper garzone 18
This is the final entry in the parish. Gio Batta and Giuseppe finally appear together on the census, but ironically with their names reversed, indicating that the priest still does not have their identities straight. The only non-family member in the house is Giorgio Taiper `garzone'. This is the second year in which a servant was not present in the household, but as we see below, it was probably an oversight.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 70 Lucrezia molie 45 Girolamo filio 19 Teresa filia 17 Anna Maria filia 13 Gioseppe filio 7 Eufrosia filia 4 Gio Batta filio 8 Angela serva 15
The serva, Angela, who was not listed in 1667, is again listed for 1668, suggesting that she was inadvertently left off the previous year.
The Bianchettis live four or five houses away, next to the Rollas. The Casa Amati is next to last, preceded by the Casa Zanoboni. Listed last, just after the Amatis, is Francesco Bossi or Botti(?), aged 30, his wife and children, Angel Fasoni(?), aged 36, Antonio Falia, aged 28, Gio Guasai(?), 15, and Gio Pietro Ranzedigh(?), 15.
Taiper is no longer in the household. The presence of these foreign names near the Casa Amati, in light of those we have seen within the house, gives us good reason to wonder whether there might have been a connection to their illustrious neighbor.
Easter. Nicolo Amati 71 Lucrezia molie 46 Girolamo filio 20 Teresa filia 18 Anna Maria filia 14 Gioseppe filio 8 Eufrosia filia 5 Gio Batta filio 9 Angela serva 16
The Zanoboni are now fourth from last on the census. The Bottis et al are now listed third to last, then the Amatis, and then, in the last house, is Gio. Bat. Nazari(?), 47 (b. c. 1622), his wife and children. During the 18th century the most important theatre in Cremona is the Teatro Nazari, founded by one Giovanni Battista Nazari. Also, one of the most famous Italian violinists is Antonio Nazari, who Burney heard in Venice in 1770 while on his first visit to Italy. At that time, Nazari was violinist at the Church of S. Lorenzo and the Cathedral, S. Marco, in Venice.
No Stati d'anime for S. Faustino are available for these years. The returns are missing from the Archives. Some time about 1677 or 1678, Girolamo Amati married Angiola Carettoni in a yet unknown parish. On July 20, 1679, their first child, Vittoria Aloisa, was born and baptised.
The loss of the census for the 1670's is a terrible blow to research. Who knows what names might have been found there during those years. It is at just this time that a Piedmontese named Cappa could have been old enough to study with Amati. It is not impossible that the books are misplaced, and if so one must hope that an alert archivist will locate it and return it to its proper place.
As we come to the new books for 1680, we can reflect on the changes in the parish. Over the years 1641 to 1669, there have been wide fluctuations in the population of the parish, most likely because of a certain transient nature to its occupants. The population declines from 111 in 1641 to 79 in 1651, increases to 123 by 1659, declines again to 101 in 1667 before rising again. The new priest has better handwriting and has returned to the practice of writing house names. In this year, there are still only 114 parishioners, but they now live in 17 separate houses. These might be the 17 dwellings marked out for the parish in the Catasto Teresiano of 1757. Throughout this brief period, the number of households varies from 15 to 18, and the population from 114 to 132. The Amati house, from this time on, varies from third to last to next to last. Our previous comments on its location still apply.
The reader will want to keep referring to earlier records for ages, for while the returns are clearer the thinking is not, and the ages vary wildly even over the space of a few years.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 82 Lucrezia moglie 53 Girolamo filio 30 Angela Carettoni molie 19 Anna Maria filia 19 Gioseppe filio 18 D. Gio Batta filio 16 Vittoria filia di Girolamo 1 Prudenzia serva 16 Gios Segher Christoforo Bartolomeo 13
Of Nicolo's children, only his son Girolamo, with his wife and daughter, Anna Maria, Gio Batta, who has become a priest, and Giuseppe still live at home. Teresa and Eufrosia have left, Teresa to marry Giovanni Battista Cambiago. Eufrosia also might have married, as she was of age, but she was probably no longer living by 1682 as she is not mentioned in her father's will. Notice that even after all the years the priest still cannot get the ages of Gioseppe and GioBatta straight. Gio. Segher, age not given, and Christoforo Bartolomeo (sic), aged 13 (b. 1667?), are also in the household.
The last house is the Casa Ghedini. The preceding house is the Casa Mola, with a wife, three sons, and two daughters, but no male head-of-household. Signor Mola must have died about 1679, as he left a 1 year old child. It is not known whether this family was in any way related to Francesco Mola, the garzone of the 1650's.
We must digress for a moment on the appearance of the serva, for we can only regard Prudenzia Bresciani as a faithful and loyal member of the family. After many servants over many years, Prudenzia had entered the service of the Amatis and remained with them probably for the rest of her life. In the end of Girolamo's career, in the 1720's, she is still in their employ. No doubt she remained a rock of stability in this household now starting to come apart.
Bartolomeo Cristofori, who is in the house in 1680, and possibly earlier, is famous today not for violins but for the piano, which he invented while serving as musical instrument maker to the court of the Medici in Florence.
Cristofori is reputed, according to the entry in the Grove's Encyclopedia on Musical Instruments and an article in the Strad on January 1985, to have been born in Padua on May 4, 1655. This would make him 24 at the time of the 1680 Stati d'anime. Other writers have given his birth date between 1653 and 1667, which fits very comfortably with his apparent age from the actual church records. Since we lack the records for the previous years, we may never know whether he worked there before 1680. He is believed to have returned to Padua after his apprenticeship and then gone to Florence in 1690. While we will not elaborate further on the Strad article, it suffices to say that at his death on January 27, 1731, he had had a long, distinguished and profitable career. The handful of his stringed instruments, though, date from the 1715-1716 period. It is interesting to keep this Padua connection in mind as we observe the changes of the coming years.
Gioseppe Segher, who is there from at latest 1680 to 1682, is also apparently a German or Tyrolean. Bletschacher suggests that the real name is Girolamo, probably on the authority of de Picolellis, and that the family name was really the Fussener name von Seeg. He too is unknown as a violin maker. Antonio Stradivari, who had lived previously in the parish of S. Leonardo, moved around the corner this year into the house facing S. Domenico.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 83 Lucrezia moglie 54 Girolamo filio 30 Angela Carettoni moglie 20 D. Gio Batta figlio Amati 23 Vittoria figlia di Girolamo 2 Prudenzia serva 17 Gio Segher 35 Giuseppe Sbinfi veneti 18 Anna Maria 21 (the age 26 is also written in the left margin next to Anna Maria's name.)
November 10. Eufrosia Scolastica Maria, second child of Girolamo II, was born and baptised.
Gioseppe has left home. Anna Maria is listed last, with her age given as 21, with 26 written on the left hand margin. Gio. Segher, aged 35 (b. 1646?), and Giuseppe Sbinfi (Stucchi? Struzi?) `Veneto', aged 18 (b. 1663?), complete the household.
The third of the apprentices of this period, called by earlier writers Giuseppe `Stanza', is more correctly Sbinfi, Stucchi, or Struzi. The entry is too small and too hard to read to thoroughly decipher, but he is clearly marked as a Venetian. He, too, is also unknown as a maker.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 84 Lucrezia moglie 55 Girolamo filio 31 Angela moglie del Giro. 21 Anna Maria filia 22 D. Gio Batta filio sacerdote 26 Vittoria filia 3 Eufrosia Scolastica filia 1 Stessa Casa Amati: Prudenzia serva 18 Gio Segher Padovane 36
July 16. In Nicolo Amati's last will, we see that Anna Maria was the wife of Gaspare Generani. The wedding must have occurred before this date, but her continued presence without her husband in her father's house is not explained. The will makes no reference to Gio Batta the priest or to Giuseppe, who may be dead by this date.
In the preceding house, the Casa Mola, lives Gio. Todeschi (suonatore?), 35. The Fioris now own a home across the street. In the Amati household, besides family, is Prudenza Bresciani, serva, and Gio. Segher, aged 36.
While I had long taken the last word on the entry for Segher to be `lavorante', a recent reinspection reveals an acknowledgement of his town, `Padovane'. Whether this was his birthplace or simply his last residence is not yet known. `Stucchi' is no longer there. Two houses follow Amati in the return. The Zanoboni family lives next to the Fioris. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, a man with this surname, living in Milan, is considered the best expert on Cremonese violins.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 85 Lucrezia moglie 56 Girolamo filio 32 Angela moglie di Girolamo 22 Anna Maria filia 23 D. Gio Batta filio Sacerdote 27 Vittoria filia di Girolamo 4 Eufrosia Scolastica 2 Prudenzia (Bresciani) 19 Jacomo Reilic 33 (in margin)
Jacomo Reilic, aged 33 (b. 1650?), is present. He might have been a recent arrival, since his name is given not in the Casa Amati but in the margin next to it.
Gaspare Generani, the husband of Anna Maria Amati, can be found this year living in the Casa Ticenghi, three houses away from the Casa Amati. His age is given as 20.
The last apprentice of Nicolo Amati is a name not previously associated with him, Giacomo Railich, who worked for him from 1683 to 1685, after the master's death. Bletschacher records four lutemaking members of this family, all from Bayerniederhofen in Fussen. These are Christoph, who was working in Naples about 1671, Giovanni, who worked in Padua from about 1665 until 1680, and who was the teacher of Matthias Kloz, Matteo, who worked in Brescia during the 1650's, and Pietro, brother of Matteo and father of Giovanni, who worked in Venice from 1644 to 1655 and in Padua from 1655 to 1670. Giacomo must have been the son of one of them and would have been there as the son of a respected colleague since the Railich workshops were by all indications very important in the lutemaking tradition. We know from the surviving Stradivari patterns that violin makers in those times had orders for many instruments besides violin family instruments. An apprenticeship and training under Nicolo Amati would certainly help the Railich family trade, while at the same time Giacomo's lutemaking background would be useful in helping Girolamo Amati II, known only as a violin maker, to fill his father's orders. Notice the continued reappearance of Brescia, Padua, and Venice, all important instrument making centers, in the lives of the different apprentices in the post-Andrea Guarneri years.
Easter. Casa Amati: Nicolo Amati 86 Lucrezia moglie 56 Girolamo filio 32 Angela moglie di Girolamo 22 Vittoria filia 4 Eufrosia filia 2 D. Gio Batta Amati sacerdote 27 Prudentia Bretiana serva 19 Giacomo Raijlic lavorante 35
April 12. Nicolo Amati dies at age 88 and is buried April 13 at S. Imerio. (Acts-S. Faustino) May 13. Nicola Giuseppe Maria, third child of Girolamo II, was born and was baptised on the 14th.
Giacomo Raijlic `lavorante', aged 35, is present in the Amati household. Signor Benzoni, probably of the family which owned the house where Guarneri del Gesu lived fifty years later, lives five houses away. Paolo Guadagni(!) moved next door to him, probably at census time. Anna Maria is no longer listed in the Casa Amati, as she has moved next door into her husband's new home, the Casa Generani, formerly the Casa Mola. While we have no indications as to the size of the Casa Mola, we can surmise that it might have been crowded with boarders, at one time having three families within. This year, it contains only Generani, his 24 year old wife, and two servants.
Easter. Casa Amati: Lucrezia Amati, ----- 57 Girolamo Amati filio 33 Angela sua moglie 22 Vittoria filia 4 Eufrosia filia 3 Nicolo filio 1 D. Gio Batta Amati Sacerdote 28 Prudentia Bretiano serva 20 Giacomo Raijlic lavorante 36 June 18. Angela Carettoni, wife of Girolamo Amati II, died. October 8. Anna Maria Amati died.
Benzoni and Guadagni have bought the houses into which they moved the previous year. Giacomo Raijlic `lavorante', aged 36, is still in the Amati house after Nicolo's death. I am not able to confirm the notation after Lucrezia's name in the return. It is not, as is seen in later census returns in Cremona, the word Vedova, or widow. On the basis of the following year's return, it might be Paliari, or Pagliari, her maiden name.
Easter. Casa Amati: Lucrezia Amati (Paliari?) 58 Girolamo Amati 34 D. Gio Batta Amati sacerdote 27 Vittoria filia 5 Eufrosia filia 4 Nicolo filio 2 Prudenzia Brezani serva 18
No apprentices are listed in the Amati household. Notwithstanding Bonetti's notice on Anna Maria, we still find her in the Casa Generani, and furthermore as the mother of Gio Batta Nicolo, born the previous year. He reappears in the Casa Amati in the early 1720's for a brief period. Guadagni's house is now listed as Casa e Bottega, house and workshop.
Girolamo's son Nicola died on July 26, 1687.
Once Girolamo II took over his late father's business, there is a decided tapering off of production. Perhaps he was already losing trade to his rival around the corner. One would think that he was well off enough that he could afford not to work. By the 1720's we find him in his seventies, living in his house, now called the Casa Amati-Pizzamiglio, with his daughter Eufrasia, her husband Carlo Antonio Pizzamiglio, and their children. He never seemed to have remarried and had no son to succeed him. From our modern vantage-point, we can only guess about this, but high on our list of guesses would be the heartbreak and disappointment of losing a father, a wife, an only son, and untold other family members within so short a time. We see his work in his father's instruments from the late sixties, seventies, and eighties, and under his own label during the late eighties and nineties, with just a scattering of instruments from the teens and twenties. When he died on February 21, 1740, just shy of his 91st birthday, he had made no instruments known to us today for over sixteen years.
The identity of Nicolo Amati's apprentices has been a subject of enormous speculation, at least partly because there is no solid documentary proof to confirm two of the three most famous makers believed to arise from that workshop: Francesco Ruggieri and Antonio Stradivari. The others who have commonly been accepted are Andrea Guarneri, Giovanni Battista Rogeri, and Girolamo Amati II. In the view of the nineteenth and late eighteenth century, as reflected by Count Cozio, Paolo Grancino and Giofredo Cappa were also included, but the stories concerning their violin making origins are now rightly or wrongly in doubt. Discussions entered a new level once De Piccolellis gave us the first listing taken directly from census returns, and the debate began in earnest. From his incomplete chronology, we get the following names: Giacomo Gennaro, 1641-46. Andrea Guarneri, 1641-1654. Leopoldo Tedesco, 1653-54. Francesco Mola, 1654. Giorgio Fraiser, 1666-8. Girolamo Segher, 1680-2. Bartolommeo Cristofori, 1680. Giuseppe Stanza, 1681. In the Guarneri Family book, the Hills give the following list, based upon that of de Piccolellis: Andrea Guarneri, 1641-45, 1650-53. Giacomo Gennaro, 1641-46. Francesco Mola, 1653-4. Leopoldo (Tedesco), 1653. Giorgio Staiber? (Tedesco), 1665-67. Girolamo Segher, 1680. Bartolomeo Cristofori, 1680. Giuseppe Stanza, 1680-82.
They also note that Staiber appears in Andrea Guarneri's census on 1665. From all these lists, three names are conspicuous in their absence, but since we have seen that Rogeri was simply overlooked two remain: Francesco Ruggieri and Antonio Stradivari. While Francesco might have been on his own by 1641, the only explanations available for Antonio's absence are that he either lived elsewhere or studied under another maker. It should be considered that, of the names that appear in the Amati census returns, only Andrea Guarneri has a name that is clearly Cremonese. The others are foreigners. There are several possible reasons why this would be the case. A Cremonese would not need a home in the city, and foreigners would, and so Cremonese would not be recorded in Amati's house but rather in their own. Foreigners, though, do not learn the master's craft and set up shop alongside him. They must eventually return home or go elsewhere, and this is what happened to most of the Amati apprentices. This must have helped preserve the Amati monopoly on the trade during the early years. Another matter to consider, though, is the great event of 1630, the great plague which killed Nicolo's father and mother and countless others besides. The city was full of orphans, who would have been a great source of apprentices, having no homes or family connections to other professions, in short, cheap labor. Perhaps this is why Guarneri is in Amati's home, and why references to his family are so few and far between.
On the basis of the above tabulation, we can identify the following as resident apprentices in the Nicolo Amati workshop: Giacomo Gennaro (c.1624-after 1655): (1641 to 1646 and possibly 1647) Andrea Guarneri (c.1626-1698): (1641 to 1646/7, 1650 to 1653) Francesco Mola (c.1641-?): (1653 to 1655) Leopoldi Todesca (c.1625-after 1665?): (1653 to 1654, 1656) Gio Batta ------ (1653) The Malagamba brothers: (1654 to 1655, 1666) Giuseppe (c.1634-?) Gio Batta (c.1637-?) Giacomo (Antonio?) (c.1644-?) Bartolomeo Pasta (c.1640-after 1685?): (1660) Giovanni Battista Rogeri, Bolognese (c.1662-after 1705): (1661 to 1663) Giorgio Taiper (c.1648-?): (1666 to 1667) Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655?-1731): (1680) Gioseppe Segher, Padovane (c.1646-?): (1680 to 1682) Giuseppe Stucchi, Veneziano (c.1663-?): (1681) Giacomo Railich (c.1650-?): (1683 to 1685)