A large lute made almost entirely of wood, with a tear-drop shape soundboard made from a flat plate of resonant wood featuring a single plain sound hole located under the strings, called the rose. Usually the sound hole is not open, but rather covered with a grille in the form of an intertwining vine or a decorative knot, carved directly out of the wood of the soundboard. The large back or shell is assembled from thin strips of hardwood called ribs joined edge to edge to form a deep rounded ribbed body. This lute's ribs are in poor condition and as a result of them being quite dry they have become brittle and are lifting and cracking. The neck has a dark wood veneer of hardwood, possibly ebony, to provide durability for the fret board beneath the strings. On the reverse of the neck and the peg board the dark ebony veneer has an ivory inlay which depicts a floral design. The peg box is angled back from the neck at almost 90° which helps hold the low-tension strings. The tuning pegs are simple pegs of hardwood, that taper to a narrower width, they are held in place by friction in holes drilled through the peg box. The strings are arranged in courses, usually of two strings each, therefore an eight- course Renaissance lute will usually have 15 strings, and a 13-course Baroque lute will have 24, this example has six remaining strings.
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
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