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Double psaltery (spitzharfe), North German, first quarter of 18th century

DETAILS

Object name
Maker
Date
first quarter of 18th century
Place
Object number
RCM0118
Acquisition
Gift from Donaldson, George — 1894

Description

Spitzharfe, double psaltery in the form of a harp-shaped box, with two soundboards. On four carved and gilded paw feet, two of which survive. The scaling for the LH (bass) strings is for brass and for the RH (treble) strings for iron. Later dark brown varnish. Capital at top of instrument carries a lion finial supporting a shield. Each soundboard has a single soundhole which originally had an inserted rose. Transverse soundboard ribs act as braces across the soundbox and are cut out where they pass under the bridges; the bridges combine the function of bridge and hitchrail. Chromatic strings lie in saw-cuts in nut and bridge; there are also saw-cuts for extra strings between some of the diatonic semitones.

Dimensions

Height: 1144mm. Width: 305mm.

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