Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Sea Dragon

Date:
17th century
Geography:
Italy
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Wood, brass, gilding
Dimensions:
Height: 54 1/2 in. (138.4 cm) Width: 8 in. (20.3 cm) Depth: 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)
Classification:
Aerophone-Reed Vibrated-double reed
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.881a-c
Not on view
This and a similar dragon in The Cincinnati Art Museum are the only known instruments of this kind to survive. Used as a stage prop, it probably appeared in masquerades and theatrical scenes depicting the underworld. The instruments were capable of producing sounds and noises that supported onstage dramaturgical actions both visually and aurally. Made from two joined hollowed out lengths of wood, the dragon was then sculpted, painted a dark green and gilded on its head and fins. During the 19th century the body was partially re-painted black. The original mouthpiece and bocal are now missing.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Michael Snodin, Nigel Llewellyn, in Baroque: Style in the Age of Magnificence 1620-1800. Exhibition catalogue., The Board of Trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2009, pg. 152, cat. 56, fig. 3.11, ill.

"Two European Wind Instruments in the Shape of a Dragon." Music in Art (2007), vol. 32 (1-2).

Ed. Dottoressa Franca Falletti, Renato Meucci, Gabriele Rossi-Rognoni. Meraviglie sonore: strumenti musicali del barocco italiano. Giunti Editore S.p.A.. Milan, 2007, pg. 159, cat. 12, ill.

Dottoressa Franca Falletti, Renato Meucci, Gabriele Rossi-Rognoni, in Marvels of Sound and Beauty: Italian Baroque Musical Instruments. Exhibition catalogue., Giunti Editore S.p.A.. Milan, 2007, pg. 159, cat. 12, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 148.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 148.



Related Objects

Walking-Stick Flute/Oboe

Artist: Georg Henrich Scherer (German, 1703–1778) Date: ca. 1750–57 Medium: Narwhal (narwhahl) tusk, ivory, gilt brass Accession: 2006.86a–c On view in:Not on view

Clarinet in D

Date: 1750–70 Medium: Boxwood, brass Accession: 2010.185 On view in:Not on view

Jagdhorn in G

Date: ca. 1710–20 Medium: Brass Accession: 14.25.1623 On view in:Not on view

Natural Trumpet

Artist: Johann Wilhelm Haas (German, Nuremberg 1649–1723 Nuremberg) Date: late 17th century Medium: Brass Accession: 89.4.2375 On view in:Not on view

Natural Trumpet in D

Artist: Andreas Naeplaesnigg (Germany, active Jettingen ca. 1790) Date: 1790 Medium: Brass, colored rock Accession: 89.4.1097 On view in:Not on view