Violin 1564 by Andrea Amati.
This decorated violin was made by the Italian violin maker Andrea Amati of Cremona as part of a set of instruments for King Charles IX of France. This collection was dispersed during the French Revolution and it was later acquired by Sybil Mounsey-Heysham who donated it to the museum in 1949. The violin's small size would be suited to a child today, but it was made for a sixteenth century professional player. The decoration includes the royal seal of France, figures of Piety and Justice, the Medallion of the Order of St Michael and a number of crowns. Another small violin from the original set can be seen at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.