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Lute

Date:
200–500
Geography:
Made in Egypt
Culture:
Roman/Byzantine
Medium:
Wood with traces of paint
Dimensions:
Overall: 4 3/4 x 1 7/16 x 28 13/16 in. (12 x 3.7 x 73.2 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Miscellany
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1912
Accession Number:
12.182.44
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 302
Strings ran from the top of this instrument’s long neck to the end of the sound box, which has indentations (called the waist) on its sides. The musician’s right hand probably plucked the strings while the left hand used the lower portion of the neck as a fingerboard. This lute is one of only four of the type to survive; the indentations on the sound box suggest that it may be an ancestor of the guitar.
[ Maurice Nahman, Cairo, Egypt (sold 1912)]
Moore J. Kenneth, Jayson Kerr Dobney, and Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. p. 35.



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