Place MadeEurope; France; Paris; Western Europe
Date Made18th Century
DescriptionThis instrument has a lute-shaped body with 11 ribs of alternate sycamore and walnut. Capping pieces of walnut. Soundboard of walnut, edged in alternate strips of ebony and ivory. Soundboard curved over width. Sound-holes of a notched C design at the bottom between the drone bridges and the edge. Rotating wheel of pearwood, radius c.75mm. Bridge of walnut(?) covered in a thick varnish. Walnut tailpiece, veneered in ebony and ivory. The tailpiece has a hole for a trompette. The right-hand drone bridge is of ivory, the left hand bridge (not original) is of oak on ivory. There are ivory "nuts" for the drone strings near the pegbox. There are wood turnbuckle stoppers on the left hand side which are set in ivory holders. Ivory pegs at either side of the handle, set into the ribs, and another at the top of the body for the strap. The keybox is 60mm-56mm wide and 72mm-55mm high. The keybox lid is pine, curved over its width, and veneered in ebony with other pieces, possibly of ivory now missing. There are 23 keys, naturals of stained pear, accidentals of ivory, the accidentals in groups of 2, 2, 3, 3 (lowest to highest pitch). The pegbox is sycamore, with a finial of a lady with her eyes closed. The finial was carved separately and joined to the rest of the pegbox before the sides of the pegbox were carved. Iron handle and crank, the handle has been cast. Heart-shaped decoration at the wheel end of the keybox; star-shaped stamped pattern on the sides of the pegbox and keybox. Repair History: There have been a number of repairs to the ribs, crudely executed.
Notesd. martin, 1993-94.
ProvenancePurchased by H.I. Brackenbury at Puttick & Simpson, 18 April 1929, (lot 157) for £2/0/0.; Government allocation to the University, 1991.
CollectionMIMEd; C.H. Brackenbury Memorial Collection