Showing results

Hide images


The cittern is branded on the button with the maker’s name enclosing a marine creature, perhaps a siren, the mythical Greek creature with a seductive singing voice. The branding iron, may have been made much earlier than the instrument itself. The peghead is fitted with eleven pegs (not original) inserted laterally and attached to wire strings, arranged in four double courses and three single courses. The rose and woman’s head, carved on the top of the peghead, are gilt. There is a wooden hook at the back, carved, as is usual, in one piece with the neck. The spruce front, cut to show a lattice pattern in the grain, is decorated with double purfling.

  • Date:
    c. 1560 - 1570
  • Maker:
    Bertolotti da Salò, Gasparo
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Brescia (Timezone: Europe/Rome)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark (Label not visible, but maker's name branded on the button of the back)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:748 mm overall length; 352 mm body length; 222 mm body width; 20 mm body (neck) depth; 47 mm body (tail) depth; 306 mm fingerboard length; 453 mm string length