Lute, Sketch 061

Sketch of the Lute

Maybe could make music

1596; Augsburg, Germany; Wood, various other materials

1596; Augsburg, Germany; Wood, various other materials

Description from the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The back of this Renaissance lute is constructed of twenty-five ebony or rosewood ribs with ivory spacers, and its top is Alpine spruce. It was probably originally made for seven or eight courses (pairs) of strings, but in the seventeenth century the neck, bridge, and pegbox were replaced or modified to give the instrument a Baroque configuration. In the nineteenth century, the neck was reduced, fixed frets were added, and the instrument was changed to six-strings, like on a guitar.

Sixtus Rauchwolff had an excellent reputation in his day and was a maker of lutes for the prominent Fugger family and the court orchestra in Stuttgart. A label inside the instrument identifies him as the maker and 1596 as the date of the lute. The name of Matthias Hummel, who probably made the Baroque alterations to the instrument, also appears.

Sketch 061: Lute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889

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