Lute

This lute was made in about 1630 and shows little sign of alteration, which makes it much prized by musicologists and luthiers. Although its provenance remains unknown, it is more likely to have served as an artist's prop rather than a professional musician's instrument after the early 1800s. Otherwise, it would all too likely have had parts replaced and metal frets added to its neck. Although it has no label, this lute can be compared with lavishly decorated ebony and ivory instruments produced in Venice between about 1630 and 1650. It is fitted with eleven courses (ten double strings and one single one) and from the early 1600s, Italian composers like Alessandro Piccini (1560-1638) and Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger (about 1575 - about 1661) composed music in the Early Baroque style for this instrument.