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An ornate cittern with the back neatly fitted into the shallow sides. The back, carved in low relief in the form of a scallop shell. The front, glued down onto the sides without an overhang. The elaborate carved ornament includes a satyr and satyress on the hook, a relief of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden on the button, and a woman’s head on top of the pegbox, rising from the mouth of a monster with ram’s horns and eyes of black glass. The woman’s eyes are inset with red beads. A blue stone, perhaps a turquoise, is set into the top of her head. Other coloured beads or gems are set into the back of the pegbox. Double lines of purfling flow from the front onto the sides and form a looping shell-like pattern on the back. Twelve pegs, inserted frontally, carry strings in six double courses. There are signs of eighteen former pegholes set in three rows in the peghead.

  • Date:
  • Maker:
    Virchi, Girolamo [Person]
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Italy, probably
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:maple, larch(?), blue stone, ivory, glass, beads
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:799 mm overall length; 370.5 mm body length; 234.5 mm body width; 48.5 mm body (neck) depth; 17 mm body (tail) depth; 465 mm length