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Hello everyone, I have always wondered how on earth Andrea Amati was able to invent the violin in nearly perfect form from the start. Reason for which while closely examining the 1570 "Charles IX" a couple days ago I suddenly realized that the filled-in peg holes in the oddest of positions make it rather plausible that the instrument originally had 3 pegs instead of four. That would put in line with the violin depicted in 1534 by Gaudenzio Ferrari in his affresco in the cathedral of Saronno, which likewise has only three pegs and yet is considered the first iconographic image of a modern violin. What currently is the consensus on this? Are their other early violins which originally had only three pegs? Thanks.
What's the total amount of stringed instruments attributed to Andrea Amati that survive today? According to the Metropolitan Museum website "eight small and large violins, three violas, and five violoncellos are all that survive. Eight of these bear the coat of arms of Charles IX of France, and so were probably completed before the French king's death in 1574. (The authenticity of these instruments has recently been challenged, possibly making authenticated instruments by Andrea Amati even more scarce.)" According to a wikipedia article a set of instruments could have been made for the marriage of king Philip II of Spain with Elisabeth of Valois on 1559. Is that possibly true? Both Charles IX and Elisabeth of Valois were sons of Catherine de Medici and according to an article written by Roger Hargrave (refering to the Charles IX instruments only) "Catherine de Medici was a Florentine. She was the daughter of Lorenzo de Medici, Duke of Urbino. (The Medici family, being one of the most powerful political forces in Florence and Tuscany, not only married into many royal families of Europe, but financed them.) It is known that when Catherine married King Henry II of France, she brought with her musicians and dancers from Italy. Over the years she promoted poetry, music and movement at the French court and much of this was performed or inspired by Italian artists, notably her director of court festivals, Baltazarmi di Belgioso. Such people may have been responsible for ordering the instruments from Andrea."