The Makers

Camillo Camilli

1703 - 1754

Camillo Camilli was born in 1703 in Monte di Malo, north of Vicenza.

He is widely regarded as one of the finest Mantuan School makers of the 18th century. He moved south, finally settling in the outskirts of Mantua, and from 1731-2 entered into some form of business arrangement with Antonio Zanotti. On Zanotti’s death in 1734 Camilli became the only professional violin maker in Mantua until the 1750s.

Pietro Guarneri of Mantua seems to be the primary influence on his instruments, which exhibit Cremonese working methods, though it is possible Zanotti, whose work Camilli’s also resembles, may have been his teacher.

Camilli’s violins, which can be as little as 350mm in length, exhibit a fine quality of craftsmanship and marry the high arching of Guarneri of Mantua with a certain Amatese roundness, producing a distinctive model all his own. They are highly prized amongst players for their fine tonal quality. His varnish, usually of a golden-amber or golden-orange colour, is durable and placed over an attractive honeyed ground.

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Camillo Camilli