Gusle, a Serbian fiddle with a single string. Front of leather stretched over a body, neck and head made in one piece, of ?poplar. Front pierced with simple cross and flower shapes. A spoon-shaped back with sloping sides and flat bottom carved all over in low relief. Middle of back has a cross-shaped opening. All edges bordered with chip carving. Back varnished. Front fastened to edges with brass strip and nails. Tinplate clasp where front meets neck. Rawhide tail-piece attached to integral tailpin. One large posterior peg, with slot for string and ornamental pendant. Finial a horse’s head. A carved snake entwines the neck and rears up below the horse’s head. The gusle was used by singers to accompany epic songs of Serbian history and poetry and it was customary to carve dates commemorating significant national events on the instruments. Yugoslavia was created in 1929; the inscriptions on RCM 380 may refer to a battle in 1930 or perhaps to the heroism or promotion of Egersdorfer.
Length: 695.5mm. Width: 208mm. Depth: 74mm.