Wood, tortoiseshell, ivory; H. 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm), W. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)
Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest, 2003 (2003.378)
The lira is a descendant of the rebec, a bowed folk and minstrel instrument of the late Middle Ages. The ancient type survives in Greece and other countries of the southern Balkans, but rarely as elaborately decorated as this one. Shown here without a bow, this lira has a reconstructed bridge.