AMATI, the name of a family of Italian violin-makers, who flourished at Cremona from about 1550 to 1692. According to Fetis, Andrea and Nicolo Amati, two brothers, were the first Italians who made violins. They were succeeded by Antonio and Geronimo, sons of Nicolo. Another Nicolo, son of Geronimo, was born on the 3rd of September 1596 and died on the 12th of August 1684. He was the most eminent of the family. He improved the model adopted by the rest of the Amatis and produced instruments capable of yielding greater power of tone. His pattern was usually small, but he also made the so-called "Grand Amatis." Of his pupils the most famous were Andrea Enamieri and Antonio Stradivari.
Initial text from 1911 encyclopedia -- Please update as needed