Mahogany and rosewood, planed, hurdy-gurdy with carved wood and ivory and ebony edging. Six strings. A wooden wheel, roughened with resin and rotated by the crank, activates the six strings. Two strings play the melody while the others sound a continuous drone. Like the musette, the hurdy-gurdy’s rural associations contributed to its aristocratic vogue.
V&A object number: 364-1864.
Like the musette, the hurdy-gurdy’s rural associations contributed to its aristocratic vogue. The vaguely guitar-shaped body and ornamental appearance of this example were some of the refinements introduced in France during the 1720s that helped it become a popular salon and chamber music instrument. The carved female finial figure wears a Turkish head-dress.