Showing results

Hide images


Technical description: Non-original soundboard of spruce, bookmatched of good quality. Ebony bridge (probably modern) for five courses. Inlaid purfling around edge of the soundboard of three strip of wood, a maple(?) central strip surrounded by dark fruitwood strips. Decoration around rosehole of triangular ebony and birch(?) pieces, with a strip of maple on the inside, and ebony on the outside. Rosehole 82.5mm diameter with reversed rose. The soundboard extends up to fret10 on the soundboard, when the original soundboard can be seen, extending from fret10 to about 5mm to the body side of fret7. The sides and back are of yew, cut so that each piece is half heartwood and half sapwood, giving and alternate light and dark effect. The piece nearest the soundboard is wider than the others. There is a maximum of nine strips on the sides, and 25 strips on the back. There is a dark spacer in between each of the strips on the sides and back. There is a wooden strap holder at the bottom, made of boxwood, with a slot for a cord to attach through. The back has plugged holes at the top and bottom, used to attach the back to the upper and lower blocks, and unplugged holes at the centre of the waist on either side, where square-headed nails were used to hold the sides against the mould during construction. The heel, neck and head are veneered in fruitwood. The heel and neck meet at a sharp point, and there is a Vjoint between the neck and head. The width of the neck is 47.5mm at the nut, and 54.0mm at the body join. The tuning pegs are of fruitwood. The top of the head is veneered in walnut, with two holly/fruitwood/holly strips to the outside of the pegs. The fingerboard is of walnut, bookmatched and joined down the centreline of the neck. There is a fruitwood band either side of the original soundboard on the neck to protect it from damage. Nut, set for five courses, is of ivory. The neck is 265mm long. The fingerboard has brass bar frets, 1.0mm wide (frets 1-10), and there are 5 full length ebony frets on the soundboard. Originally, or else at a very early period, the instrument was used as a chitarra battente. The body is quite deep in relation to its size, and the soundboard slopes down from the bridge to the bottom. There are scratched lines on the sides where this sloping starts. At the bottom of the instrument there are a series of plugged holes where the pins used to support the wire strings went. This alteration work has damaged the maker's stamp which is above the strap holder on the bottom. Repair History: Possibly made as a chitarra battente. The instrument was repaired, probably in the last quarter of the 17th century, when the soundboard was replaced, the frets added, and the instrument converted to a five-course state. The lining paper inside the instrument is from a notebook recording castrati.

  • Date:
    Circa 1600
  • Maker:
    Possibly the Pfanzelt family, Rome
  • Collection:
    University of Edinburgh
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs classification:321.322-5
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.322-5
  • Repository:University of Edinburgh
  • Measurements:873