Maker: possibly Küçük Izmitli (Greek, İzmit, active late 19th century)

Date: ca. 1900

Geography: Greece; Turkey

Culture: Greek

Medium: Wood, tortoiseshell

Dimensions: Height: 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm)
Width: 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)

Classification: Chordophone-Lute-bowed-unfretted

Credit Line: Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest, 2003

Accession Number: 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.