Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Harpsichord

Harpsichord

  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    1521 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jerome of Bologna (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cypress case and soundboard, with decorative stringing, gilding and inlay

  • Museum number:

    226:1 to 3 -1879

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This harpsichord was made in Rome in 1521 by Jerome of Bologna. Although almost nothing is known about its maker, this example is one of the earliest dated keyboard instruments to survive. Rome was the ideal place for an instrument maker to be in the early 1500s because music flourished there as much as art and architecture. Pope Leo X (reigned 1513-1521) was a keen patron of music and collector of musical instruments. Like most other surviving harpsichords of this date, this instrument, although treasured because of its quality and prestige, has subsequently been altered so as to keep up with the latest musical fashions.

Physical description

Soundboard of pine, sides of cypress, and case of tooled leather, with decoration in the style of about 1550. Naturals of boxwood and sharps stained hardwood. The instrument's present range is forty-seven notes, C-d3, and has two 'eight foot' registers, having originally only had one.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)

Date

1521 (made)

Artist/maker

Jerome of Bologna (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Cypress case and soundboard, with decorative stringing, gilding and inlay

Marks and inscriptions

Hieronymus Bononiensis faciebat Romae MDXXI
Jerome of Bologna made this in Rome in 1521
1) Decoration 2) Signature; Latinn; Small case; Above the keyboard; Inscribed; Ink; Jerome of Bologna; 1521

Aspicite ut trahitur suavi modulamine vocis/ Quidquid habent aer sider terra fretum
See how whatever the sky, stars, earth and see possess is brought out by the sweet modulation of its voice.
1) Decoration 2) Makers's mark; Latin; Roman; Above the keyboard; Jerome of Bologna; 1521

Dimensions

Length: 180 cm, Width: 75 cm, Depth: 22.1 cm, Weight: 39 kg

Descriptive line

Italian, 1521, Jerome of Bologna [return to FF15 53O/1]

Italian, 1521, stamped and gilt leather

part; Italian, 1521, Jerome of Bologna

from harpshichord

Labels and date

HARPSICHORD
By Jerome of Bologna (Italian), 1521
Inscribed Hieronymus Bononiensis faciebat Romae MDXXI [Jerome of Bolgna made this in Rome in 1521] below the verse Aspicite ut trahitur suavi modulamine vocis/ Quidquid habent aer sider terra fretum. [See how everything from the air, sea and earth is brought out by the modulation of the sweet voice]. Soundboard of pine, sides of cypress, and case of tooled leather, with decoration in the style of about 1550. Naturals of boxwood and sharps stained hardwood. The instrument's present range is forty-seven notes, C -d3, and has two "eight foot" registers, having originally only had one.

Keyboard Catalogue No.: 1

This harpsichord is the only known extant instrument of Jerome of Bologna, who flourished in Rome in the 1520s, and one of the earliest dated examples to survive.

226-1879 [pre September 2000]

Materials

Cypress

Techniques

Gilding; Joining; Stringing

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.