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Zither

Zither

  • Place of origin:

    Munich (made)

  • Date:

    1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lehner, Franz, born 1801 - died 1848 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Rosewood veneered on pine, marquetry in painted and engraved brass and mother-of-pearl

  • Museum number:

    642-1869

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Alpine zither was developed by Johan Petzmayer (1803 - 1884) in Munich during the 1820s. The musician would set it on a table and press the five highest strings down onto a fretted finger board with his left hand, and pluck them with the thumb and index finger of his right hand, strumming the other bass strings with his middle and ring finger as required.
This example was made by Franz Lehner (1801 - 1878), a violin maker who spent most of his life in Prague, but was based in Munich in the course of the 1860s. This instrument was displayed at the Paris exhibition of 1867 and bought by this museum shortly afterwards.

Physical description

"A normal 'Salzburg-form' zither of its period. Body veneered with rosewood on pine, the edges trimmed with light-coloure stringing. The belly is decorated with marquetry in painted and engraved brass and mother-of-pearl depicting a peasant girl and a boy playing an instrument like this amid floral scrolls. There are three ball feet on the underside of the body. The fingerboard has twenty-nine frets and is traversed by five strings (two steel, one broass, two overspun) tund by four machines and one wrest pin. The twenty-seven overspun accompanying strings are tuned by wrest pins." Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria & Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments by Anthony Baines (London, V & A), pp. 72 - 73.

Place of Origin

Munich (made)

Date

1867 (made)

Artist/maker

Lehner, Franz, born 1801 - died 1848 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Rosewood veneered on pine, marquetry in painted and engraved brass and mother-of-pearl

Marks and inscriptions

'Franz Lehner/ Saiten-Instrumentenmacher/ München'
Franz Lehner/ Stringed instrument maker, Munich.
Printed label.

Dimensions

Length: 50.5 cm, Width: 32.5 cm

Object history note

This instrument was bought by the South Kensington Museum in 1867 for £6 - 8 - 0, following the Paris Exhibition of 1867.

Descriptive line

Zither with case, body veneered with rosewood on pine, decorated with marquetry, made by Franz Lehner, Munich, 1867

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instru,ments in the Victoria & Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments by Anthony Baines (London, V & A), pp. 72 - 73.

Materials

Rosewood; Pine; Mother of pearl; Brass

Techniques

Planing; Veneering; Marquetry; Joining

Subjects depicted

Scrolls; Peasants

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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