Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Rectangular Octave Virginal

Date:
ca. 1600
Geography:
Possibly Augsburg, Germany
Culture:
German
Medium:
Ebony, beech, brass, leather, paper, parchment, ivory
Dimensions:
Height: 3 9/16 in. (9.1 cm)
Width (parallel to keyboard): 17 3/8 in. (44.1 cm)
Depth (perpendicular to keyboard): 8 9/16 in. (21.8 cm)
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-plucked-virginal
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.1778
Not on view
An ebony, casketlike virginal in the style of Samuel Biedermann the Elder, probably made in Augsburg about 1600, is decorated with engravings by Hans Sebald Beham and the elder Crispijn van de Passe. A delicate parchment rosette adorns the sound hole. Two shallow drawers, perhaps for sewing equipment, fit into the top of the lid. Sounding several octaves above normal pitch, this virginal was not intended for serious music-making.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown
"Keyboard Instruments." Summer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1989), Vol. 47, No. 1, pg. 16-17, ill.

"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 12, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 86.

Catalogue of Keyboard Instruments. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 0, pg. 47, ill.

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. 86.

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