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Summary Description Polygonal virginal, with a range of fifty notes, C - f3, and a C/E short octave in the bass. Painted, gilded and silvered with animals and grotesque ornament Both the case and soundboard of this instrument are made of cypress, the bridges of maple, and the rose of vellum. The moulding at the top and bass of the instrument are ebony with inlaid ivory stringing. The shaped brackets flanking the keyboard also have edges inlaid with ivory. A rose of interlaced geometrical design is set in the soundboard. The sharps are made of ebony and the invory-covered naturals are each arcaded at the front with gothic tracery. Decoration: The outside and visible parts of the inside of the case are painted, silvered and gilded with scrolls, knots and grotesque ornament on a dark background. The name Marci Iadrae and date MDLXVIII are inscribed in gold on the near side of the jack-rail. Analysis has confirmed that the decoration, now largely discoloured, was originally very intricate and colourful. The grotesque figures and storks have been carried out in silver leaf; the bordering patterns in gold leaf and the foliage and flowers have been further painted in green and red. Silvering: The rabbits, grotesque figures and storks have been carried out in silver leaf (now tarnished). Analysis carried out on the wings and legs of one of the storks confirmed the presence of silver leaf. The pattern was first painted with a sticky mordant and silver leaf applied on top. The nature of the mordant used to adhere the silver leaf has not been identified. After the silver leaf was applied further fine details were scribed through the silver leaf such as the lines in the wing feathers. Gilding Analysis has confirmed the use of gold leaf..The gold pattern has been carried out by drawing the pattern in a sticky mordant over which gold leaf has been applied. As with the silvering, the gilding is further embellished with the addition of green glazes painted over the gold leaf and in other areas it has been accentuated with black pen work on top of the gold leaf. Other Decoration: Several acanthus leaves in the decoration have a green appearance and a copper based green pigment has been identified. There are small amounts of gold in these areas indicating that the green was applied over the gold leaf. The very small flower heads are painted red. The areas at the corners of the central panel above the key board are decorated with golden coloured rectangular metal filings giving them a speckled appearance. These have been discoloured by the varnish that has previously been applied on top. The filings have been identified as being made of a brass alloy (copper and zinc) and another type of metal filing containg lead, copper, iron, cobalt and nickel.

  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:Planed, painted and gilded cypress case, planed cypress soundboard and carved maple bridges. Ebony sharps and ivory covered naturals with carved ivory arcading at the front.
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:MARCI IADRAE MDLXVIII. By Marco Jadra 1568 A laude é gloria sia dela santissima tranita é dela gloriosa é sempre vergine maria francisci Brixiensis fecit 1569 Let there be praise and glory for the most Holy Trinity and the forever glorious Virgin Mary.. Made by Francesco of Brescia made 1569
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 17.1 cm, Width: 146.3 cm front width; object is trapezoid, Depth: 42.6 cm