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Arpanetta

Arpanetta

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1713 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted pine wood, metal keys and hitch pins

  • Museum number:

    911-1875

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The arpanetta is a free-standing instrument, shaped like an upright harpsichord or clavicytherium. It is fitted with metal strings on both sides and was widely used in Germany and the Netherlands from about 1650 until 1750. The player would set it on a table, pluck the melody with his right hand and strum the accompaniment with his left. It would no doubt have sounded like a cross between a harpsichord and a harp. This instrument is decorated with flowers, like the soundboards of harspichords made in the Netherlands and England, during the 17th century.

Physical description

'Soundbox of pine painted green with painted floral decoration. On each side, a complex paper rose. The soundbox has an internal partition and is surmounted by a carved and painted lion's head. At the base, painted paw feet. The strings on the right side comprise twenty six double courses, and fifteen single courses for semitones, these last set closer to the soundboard. On the left side are twenty-one single and double courses.' - Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard insturments. (London, 1998), p 74.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

1713 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted pine wood, metal keys and hitch pins

Marks and inscriptions

anno 1713
In the year 1713

Dimensions

Height: 108 cm, Depth: 5.8 cm

Object history note

The instrument was purchased from the Rev. H.R.Haweis for £10 in 1875.

Descriptive line

Arpanetta of painted pinewood. German, dated 1713

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

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard insturments. (London, 1998), p. 73.

Labels and date

ARPANETTA
Germany, dated 1713
Pine soundbox painted green with floral decoration, lion head finial

911-1875 [pre September 2000]

Materials

Pine; Iron; Paint

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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