Camillo Camilli was an excellent maker whose inspiration was the work of his Mantuan predecessor Pietro Guarneri. He may have been personally acquainted with Guarneri (who died when Camilli was just of apprentice age), but he is more likely to have been a pupil of Antonio Zanotti.
His choice of wood was not always the most handsome. Sound-wise though, there is no substitute for the fine, narrow-grained mountain spruce that forms the front of this violin. The back is one piece of maple with faint and irregular flames and the varnish is a fine, deep orange-amber-brown colour, characteristic of Camilli’s work.
There is no doubt that cost was an issue in the selection of the wood, a reflection of the sad economic decline that Italian violin making experienced in the mid-eighteenth century. However, Camillo Camilli’s instruments exhibit the definitive qualities of craftsmanship and are known for their nobility of sound.