We don’t have an image of this object online yet. V&A Images may have a photograph that we can’t show online, but it may be possible to supply one to you. Email us at vaimages@vam.ac.uk for guidance about fees and timescales, quoting the accession number: 218-1882
Find out about our images

Not currently on display at the V&A

Archlute

1619 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This instrument is a chitarrone, the largest form of lute. It was subsequently converted into a smaller version, known as the archlute. The peghead used to accomodate the extra long bass strings of the chitarrone has been cut and set to the bass side, and the neck has also been shortened. This instrument was probably played until the 19th centuryas it is fitted with iron levers, dating from about 1800, which raise the bass strings a semi-tone. The body of this example was made in 1619 by Matteo Buechenberg (d. 1628), a luthier of German origins who settled in Rome and is best known for his chitarroni.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
planed and joined shaded yew ribs; pine soundboard, ebony veneered neck with ivory stringing; turned ivory thumb-buttons; iron levers.
Brief Description
Archlute, Italian (Rome), yew ribs and ebony and ivory veneered neck, Matteo Buechenborg, 1619.
Physical Description
'Back of fifty-one shaded [yew] ribs. Pine belly carved with triple rose, one section possibly a replacement. The neck is later, with a short plain fingerboard (16.5 cm) and the main pegbox with twelve pegs, evidently, by nut grooves, for twelve single strings. The head has been crudely chopped down from an earlier longer head and is now set over to the bass side; the back is of ebony with inlaid ivory strings. The upper pegbox has twelve pegs for six double courses, and five iron semitone levers actuated by ivory brass thum buttons.' - Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 34.
Dimensions
  • Total length: 125.5cm
  • Length of belly length: 65cm
  • Width: 39cm
  • Maximum string length length: 84.5cm
  • Minimum string length length: 65cm
Measurements taken from Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 34.
Marks and Inscriptions
Matheus Buechenberg / Roma 1619 (Handwritten in ink on a label inside the body of this instrument.)
Object history
This instrument formed part of the collections of Carl Engel (1818-1882) and was bought by the Museum in 1882 for £8.
Summary
This instrument is a chitarrone, the largest form of lute. It was subsequently converted into a smaller version, known as the archlute. The peghead used to accomodate the extra long bass strings of the chitarrone has been cut and set to the bass side, and the neck has also been shortened. This instrument was probably played until the 19th centuryas it is fitted with iron levers, dating from about 1800, which raise the bass strings a semi-tone. The body of this example was made in 1619 by Matteo Buechenberg (d. 1628), a luthier of German origins who settled in Rome and is best known for his chitarroni.
Bibliographic Reference
Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 34.
Collection
Accession Number
218-1882

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdDecember 23, 2008
Record URL