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Double psaltery

Spitzharfe, or double psaltery, tapering in width and depth, with two soundboards. Played vertically with the short treble side towards the player, the bass strings on the left and treble strings on the right. Scaling for the left hand strings is for brass, for the right hand strings is for iron. The instrument formerly stood on two carved feet, probably not original; it was surmounted by a carved finial, now missing. The rim and soundboards form a simple box construction. The left hand soundboard has one soundhole and the right hand soundboard two; all contain terraced roses of leather, paper and card. Both soundboards of quartered ?spruce. A total of seven combination bridges/hitchrails and two nuts, of ebonised ?beech, are glued to the soundboards.

  • Date:
    first quarter of 18th century
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  • Collection:
    Royal College of Music Museum
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  • Inscriptions:Spurious, scratched on underside: "Davido Rizzio /1566"
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  • Repository:Royal College of Music Museum
  • Measurements:Height: 1571mm. Width: 485mm. Depth: 104mm.