314.122-6-8 True board zithers with resonator box (box zithers) sounded by plectrum, with keyboard

Carved wooden virginal. Walnut case, painted and gilded inside the lid and with painted spruce soundboard. The carvings depict musical subjects and include the arms of William, Duke of Cleves (1516-1592). The Latin mottoes are in praise of music. The present keyboard is a dummy probably dating from the 19th century. The compass of A-f''' bears no relationship to the original which is believed to have been forty-five notes from C/E (short octave) - c"'. The instrument has survived multiple modifications and enlargements of compass, but the finely carved casework and decorated soundboard are believed to be original. The instrument is unique among surviving northern European virginals both in form and exterior decoration. It may have been made in Antwerp because the carving of the case is derived in part from prints by Jakob Floris in his Veelderhande Cierlycke compertementen, published in that city in 1564.
V&A object number: 447-1896.

The instrument has survived multiple modifications and enlargements of compass, but the finely carved casework and decorated soundboard are believed to be original. The instrument is unique among surviving northern European virginals both in form and exterior decoration. It may have been made in Antwerp because the carving of the case is derived in part from prints by Jakob Floris in his Veelderhande Cierlycke compertementen, published in that city in 1564.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk