Date: 19th century
Medium: Wood, parchment, metal, feathers
Dimensions: W. 45 1/2 × D. 5 7/8 in. (115.5 × 15 cm)
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number: 89.4.163
Popular at nineteenth century Indian courts, this bowed lute borrows features of other Indian stringed instruments, such as the body shape of the sarangi and the frets and neck of the sitar. There are four melody strings and fifteen sympathetic strings that sound when the instrument is played to accompany popular religious song. The peacock is the vehicle of Sarasvatî, the goddess of music, and it appears in Indian poetry as a metaphor for courtship.