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'Back of fifteen ivory ribs with double ebony stringing between. The belly is finely carved with a rose and has ivory heart-shaped ornaments at each end. The back of the neck has marquetry scrollwork decoration of ivory and ebony. The front is veneered with ebony surrounding ivory bands engraved with scrollwork and landscapes. Eleven thin brass frets have been added at a later period. The main pegbox has fourteen pegs for seven double courses, and the upper has the same, though the upper nut is grooved for five double courses.' Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum: Part II: Non-Keyboard Instruments(London, 1978), p. 31.

  • Date:
    1637 (made)
  • Maker:
    Sellas, Matteo
  • Collection:
    Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:Scrolled marquetry ebony and ivory veneering, engraved ivory plaques, ebony stringing, planed softwood (probably pine), fruitwood (possibly pearwood)
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:MATTEO SELLAS ALLA CORONA / IN VENETIA "Matteo Sellas at the sign of the Crown, Venice". Matteo Sellas [ . . ? ] Corona / In Venetia. 1637. Matteo Sellas [at the sign of the?] Crown, Venice, 1637
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Measurements:Length: 116 cm total length, Width: 32.5 cm, Length: 42.5 cm Length of Belly, Length: 30 cm Length of neck, Depth: 150 mm