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Archlute

David Tecchler (Austrian, Salzburg 1666–1747 Rome)

Date:
ca. 1725
Geography:
Rome, Italy
Medium:
Spruce, ebony, ivory, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, and various other materials
Dimensions:
Label: 179.7cm (70 3/4in.)
Classification:
Chordophone-Lute-plucked
Credit Line:
Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1988
Accession Number:
1988.87
  • Description

    Sometime after the invention of the chitarrone in Florence around 1585, various local forms of long-necked lutes were developed. One variant appearing in Rome at the end of the sixteenth century, dubbed the Roman arch lute, accommodated a standard pitch of about 386 hertz (a full step below the modern pitch standard); that lower standard was used in many churches. Only ten such instruments are known today, of which this example is the latest and one of the most beautiful. By the end of the through bass period, in the middle of the eighteenth century, the arch lute had become an indispensable instrument of the orchestra.

    David Tecchler, born in Germany, settled in Rome in 1698. As a lute maker, he is known only by this instrument, while his cellos and violins have survived in greater numbers and are highly valued.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: Inscribed on ivory plaque on finial: "Dav: Tecchler/fecit Roma/AD 1725"; similarly labeled within body.

  • References

    "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (2011), pg. 7-8, ill.

    "Recent Acquisitions 1987-1988: A Selection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1988), pg. 48, ill.

    The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. second edition. Macmillan Publishers Limited. Oxford, United Kingdom, vol. 1, pg. 862, fig. 2, ill.



  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
503613:7

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