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Nineteenth-century south Italian lute. Seven pairs of strings. Body of triangular outline, with broad and flattened tail resembling the body of longnecked Arabic lutes. Front of four pieces. Two soundholes, the upper one with geometric rose cut in soundboard wood with inlaid collar of circles and ovals of mother-of-pearl in black mastic; the lower soundhole with recessed rose of pierced leather and wood including two figures, one playing a wind instrument. Chamfered edge and collar of serpentine line and leaf shapes in mother-of-pearl inlaid in black mastic. Tie-bridge of bone and ebony with partially turned finials of acorn shape. Back has marquetry and inlaid decoration of bone/ivory and mother-of-pearl, engraved with a mixture of semi-abstract floral designs, grotesque serpent heads, and grotesque figures. Back of neck veneered with alternate ebony and bone in interlocking pattern. Fingerboard edged with Greek-key design in bone and ebony, enclosing an engraved bone panel.

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  • Inscriptions:French MS, indecipherable through the rose, on inside of back; probably a lining rather than a label.
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  • Repository:Royal College of Music Museum
  • Measurements:Length: 745mm. Width: 336mm. Depth: 139mm.