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'Narrow model, with five-faced ivory body. Belly with purfling simulated with inlaid silver twisted wire, and with a heart-shaped soundhole and two inwards-facing C-holes with central points. Ivory fingerboard and pegbox, with the finial in the form of a woman's head with plait at back. On the back of the body is written in Indian ink: 370 P.R. With the instrument is an ivory bow. The tubular, tooled and gilt red leather case is decorated in a manner practised in France during the second half of the seventeenth century. The fleur-de-lis gives no indication of date. The crowned L's are associated with Louis XIII and XIV in the seventeenth century, as well as with earlier and later kings of that name. The crowned dolphin which also appears on it, however, was borne only by the Dauphin; and only the Dauphin of the second half of the century was Louis, le Grand Dauphin (1661-1711), the eldest son of Louis XIV. He is more likely to have had use for a pochette during the earlier part of his life, during the third quarter of the century. The hair-style of the lady on the finial also suggests this date. Thus this kit must presumably be a French royal piece. It is also interesting to note that the inlaid stringing of spiral silver wire, seen on the belly of the instrument itself, occurs on some French gun-stocks. The wire for this purpose was normally straight before and after this period but, during the third quarter of the seventeenth century, it was often spiralled. The maker, Drouyn, seems to be otherwise unrecorded. Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum: Part II: Non-Keyboard Instruments (London, 1978), pp. 20-21.

  • Date:
    ca. 1670 (made)
  • Maker:
    Drouyn, Dimanche
  • Collection:
    Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:The instrument of carved ivory and planed sycamore with twisted silver wire, the bow of carved ivory and ebony, the case of tooled and part gilt leather with a brass clasp
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:Dimanche Drouyn/ A Paris Dimanche Drouyn in Paris
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Measurements:Length: 37 cm, Width: 23 cm maximum [Kit] Length: 370 mm, Width: 230 mm, Depth: 38 mm [bow (chordophone component)] Length: 382 mm, Width: 20 mm, Depth: 10 mm [Kit case] Length: 445 mm, Diameter: 60 mm