Cittern, Girolamo Campi, ?Brescia (or ?Pescina), c.1580


Object name
c. 1580
Object number


Renaissance cittern (cetra) with six double courses. Front of medium to wide grain ?spruce; double purfling, widely separated, with inner line entwining in geometrical knot at tail end. Soundhole preserves the hardwood rim and paper fragments of an inserted rose. One large soundbar across the front, between soundhole and bridge, housed into sides. Holes for twelve frontal pegs and tracks of six double courses on edge of peghead behind brass nut. Back, ribs, neck and peghead cut and hollowed from one piece of ?maple. Neck has a deep and narrow spine on the treble side. This bears the fullwidth fingerboard applied over soundboard, neck and part of peghead. There are seventeen frets, eight of which are not full width; fingerboard concave between frets. The back of the peghead is an elaborately carved extra layer.

According to the label inside, the cittern was formerly owned by the painter Titian (died 1576), for which there is no further evidence, and later by the composer Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868). Before that it was in the possession of the tenor, Giovanni Matteo Mario (1810–83).

[View instrument in print catalogue]


Length: 727mm. Width: 248.5mm. Depth: 47mm.

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