This illustration of a violin by Hendrick Jacobs was published in The Strad, August 1938. The following text is extracted from the article accompanying the photographs:

There is a legend that Hendrick Jacobs worked as an apprentice with Nicolò Amati at Cremona – where he was known as Enricus Jacobus – and that before returning to Amsterdam with a quantity of choice Italian wood and varnish, he married his master’s daughter. Another legend suggests he was an associate of Rembrandt and that the great artist and colourist assisted him with his varnish. Unfortunately there is not a shred of real evidence to support these romantic stories.

The foundation of the supposition that Jacobs was a pupil of Amati lies in the fact that many of Jacobs’ instruments imitated this maker with considerable exactness and that he employed wood closely resembling that used by the Cremonese. Jacobs also had at his disposal a fine quality varnish, usually red-brown in colour. Although his violins vary in size, the majority of them are built more or less on the lines of the grand Amatis.

The example of Jacobs work, illustrated, is considered by many experts as one of the finest examples of this maker in existence. It is in a remarkably fine state of preservation, and has all the well-known characteristics of the maker, including the carefully inlaid whalebone purfling.

The principal dimensions are: Length, 14 inches; Width, Upper Bouts, 6 9/16th inches; Lower 8 1/8 inches; Middle, 4 5/16th inches.

Hendrick Jacobs worked from around 1687 until 1714 or possibly a little later.

Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial. To purchase single issues click here.