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About This Object

This lute is obliquely referred to in a correspondence between Dolmetsch and James Joyce. In 1904, the writer wanted a lute so that he could travel along the south coast, singing English songs. Unfortunately, Dolmetsch lacked Joyce's enthusiasm: he explained to Joyce that he made a lute some years previously but would be unlikely to make another. Dolmetsch also warned Joyce that the lute was difficult to play and keep in tune. Dolmetsch made this lute while living in West Dulwich. He continued to make replicas of historic instruments well into the twentieth century.

See full details Description

Tenor lute. Nine double courses of strings and one single course. The body is constructed of fifteen maple ribs. The table is of pine pierced by a geometrical rose. The strings are attached to rosewood pegs which enter the angled pegbox from the sides, and at their lower ends, to a bridge glued to the table. Four frets are glued to the table. Labelled 'Arnold Dolmetsch / 1893'.


Musical Instruments

Broad category
Musical Instruments, Chordophone
Additional names, titles, or classifications
catalogue name:  lute
object name:  lutes
classified as:  lute
catalogue title:  321.321
classified as:  321.321

Additional maker information
maker:  Dolmetsch, Eugène Arnold
Dolmetsch, Eugène Arnold
London, England, UK; Europe
Additional place information
made:  London 
Date made
Additional date information
date made:  1893 

Materials & techniques
metal thread; wood; gut; ivory; flint
Additional material & technique information
material: wood (overall)
material: flint (overall)
material: gut (overall)
material: ivory (overall)
material: metal thread (overall)
overall: 1000 x 350 x 210 mm
Additional measurement information
overall: 1000 x 350 x 210 mm

Dolmetsch Collection

Further reading
Horniman Museum and Palmer, Frances, 1981. The Dolmetsch collection of musical instruments. London: Horniman Museum & Gardens, 16 - 17 (catalogues; illustrates)

Related people
Dolmetsch, Eugène Arnold
Related subjects
Haslemere Festival
association: Leisure
related subject: Southwark
association: Work
related subject: Folk Music
association: Musical Instrument Making
classified as: lutes
object name: lutes
material: metal thread
classified as: flint
material: wood
material: gut
material: ivory
classified as: 321.321 Necked bowl lutes
classified as: 321.321 Necked bowl lutes

Record created 1999-12-26
Record last updated 2019-01-15

Collections information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.

This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be some errors. The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

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