Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Cittern

Date:
mid to late 18th century
Geography:
London, England, United Kingdom
Culture:
British
Medium:
Wood and various materials
Dimensions:
Total length 66 cm., Fingerboard length 22.8 cm., Fingerboard width--top/bottom 4.6/5.2 cm., Body length 36 cm. Body width--widest/narrowest 28.1/- Body depth--neck/foot 5.7/6.8 cm. Vibrating length of strings 43 cm., Diameter of rosette 8.5 cm.
Classification:
Chordophone-Lute-plucked-fretted
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.1014
Not on view
A model with teardrop-shaped body and a flat back of maple. It has five metal string courses, which are tuned by means of a
watch-key mechanism, invented by James N. Preston in about 1760. The keyboard mechanism with six keys, enabling hammers to strike the strings, was attached to the instrument somewhat later.
Marking: (on key mechanism) SMITH'S/ PATENT BOX/ (royal seal)/ LONDON
(on tuning mechanism) R.W.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 59.

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. 59-60.



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