Antonio Stradivari 1669 VL Francalucci, Clisbee
The violin known as ‘Clisbee’ was produced by Stradivari in 1669. He was living at the time in a part of the house called ‘Pescaroli’, which had been named after the woodcarver and engraver Francesco Pescaroli, who owned the place and also had his workshop there. From 1667 until 1680 Stradivari and Pescaroli enjoyed a proximity that suggests, to Arnaldo Baruzzi at any rate, the possibility that the two might have somehow cooperated. Baruzzi’s theory may in fact go some way towards explaining why no documents have ever surfaced concerning the apprenticeship of young Antonio to any luthier. Moreover, it is Baruzzi’s contention that this collaboration might explain the remarkable technical abilities in wood carving shown by Stradivari from the very beginning of his career. Nevertheless, the Italian author did not exclude the possibility that Stradivari was randomly offered the chance to help in Amati’s workshop, particularly as it was next to the one of Pescaroli: ‘noi avanziamo […] l’ipotesi che, per gli anni precedenti il matrimonio, Stradivari sia stato un garzone intagliatore e intarsiatore di Francesco Pescaroli e contemporaneamente, nelle ore libere, abbia lavorato di liuteria sotto la guida di Nicola Amati. Questa contemporaneità non deve e non può stupire, quando si tenga presente che la bottega del Pescaroli si apriva a fianco di Nicola Amati in piazza S. Domenico’. As Nicolò Amati (1596–1684) was considered the touchstone of craftsmanship at the time, it is quite understandable that some of Stradivari’s early instruments exhibit traces of the Old Master’s influence. This is certainly true of the ‘Clisbee’, too, which William Henley described as having an ‘Amati pattern’.
Antonio Stradivari Set 1, Volume 1, Page 54