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  • Place of origin:

    Paris (Made)

  • Date:

    1647 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Du Mesnil, Jacques (Made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and planed ebony body, planed pine belly.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Kits were small, narrow versions of violins, often played by dancing masters before demonstrating a particular step. One recorded virtuoso of this instrument was Francis Pemberton who flourished in England in the 1760s and was "able to play solos on [the kit], exhibiting all the graces and elegancies of the violin". Jacques du Mesnil was based in Paris and made a number of string instruments, including a violin and a mandore, which date from the 1640s to the 1660s.

Physical description

"Narrow model. Ebony body shaped to five faces. Belly similar to that of preceding instrument [i.e. Kit by Dimanche Drouyn, Museum no 519-1872: '... with a heart-shaped soundhole and two inwards-facing C-holes ..' - Baines, Catalogue ... II, p. 20]. Ebony fingerboard and pegbox with a carved head of a woman.' - Anthony Baines:Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, 1998), p. 21.

Place of Origin

Paris (Made)


1647 (Made)


Du Mesnil, Jacques (Made)

Materials and Techniques

Carved and planed ebony body, planed pine belly.

Marks and inscriptions

Du Mesnil/ a Paris 1647
Du Mesnil/ in Paris 1647.
Written on the label inside the instrument.


Length: 41.5 cm total, Length: 26.5 cm length of belly, Length: 24.6 cm string length, Length: 13 cm Length of fingerboard, Width: 4 cm

Descriptive line

Ebony body, French, Jacques du Mesnil, 1647

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

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 21


Ebony; Pine


Carving; Planing


Musical instruments


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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