Violin by Camillo Camilli, Mantua, 1742

Violin by Camillo Camilli, Mantua, 1742

About Camillo Camilli

Mantuan making in the 17th and 18th centuries is an interesting topic. Whilst the lineage of the Cremonese makers is easily traced, no such web of masters and apprentices exists between the principal Mantuan makers. The first of these, Pietro Guarneri of Mantua, was in fact a Cremonese maker who relocated to the city in the 1680s for business opportunities. Camilli, born in 1703, was next in line: the great Guarneri had already died by the time Camilli would have reached the age to begin learning. Finally, Tommaso Balestrieri, the third maker in this revered trio, did not begin to make instruments until shortly before Camilli´s death in 1754.

It is likely that Camilli´s teacher was Antonio Zanotti, a maker based in Mantua about whom little is known. Stylistically, the greatest influence on Camilli´s work comes from Pietro Guarneri of Mantua, whose broad modelling and beautiful varnish is evident in the work of both Camilli and Balestrieri.

About the violin

The violin was made in Mantua in 1742 and is modelled after the work of Pietro Guarneri of Mantua. This is particularly evident in the broad modelling with rounded upper and lower bouts.

The violin has a two piece back of semi slab-cut maple. The ribs and scroll are of plainer maple. The front is two pieces of straight-grained spruce and the varnish is a rich golden-brown, laid over a lighter golden ground.

The violin has a length of back of 354 mm.

How does it sound?

This would be an amazing first violin in a quartet! Endlessly expressive and with a silky tone that carries extremely well, this is a treasure of an instrument. The violin is so responsive that bowing makes an enormous difference: change the speed or weight ever so slightly and they´ll know all about it at the back of the hall!


The violin is in good restored condition and comes with a complete condition report.


The violin comes with certificates from both Hamma and Moennig.

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