Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tenor Recorder

Bassano (workshop active 1530–1650, Venice and London)
ca. 1600
Italy; United Kingdom
Italian or British
Height: 12 13/16 in. (32.5 cm)
Aerophone-Whistle Flute-recorder
Credit Line:
Purchase, Amati Gifts, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
A rare example of a Renaissance tenor recorder made of a single piece of boxwood. As is typical of early woodwind instruments, there are seven tone holes, six down the center and a pair of holes at the bottom that sound the same pitch. This arrangement allows a player to choose their own hand placement for the top and bottom holes. There is a single thumb hole on the back of the instrument.

The recorder bears the mark of the Bassano family, a moth, which appears once below the window, and twice on the bottom edge of the instrument. Members of the Bassano family were active as musicians and woodwind makers in both Venice and London from the 1530s to the 1650s.
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, p. 62, ill.

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