English bentside spinet consisting of an oak case and stand, with ebony and ivory keys. Keyboard compass 4 and a half octaves, 51 notes, GG/BB-c''' with broken and short octave. The lowest c sharp is divided to give both the chromatic note and AA, and the lowest e flat is divided to give both the chromatic note and BB. There is a single set of eight foot strings. The stand, with four turned legs and stretchers appears to be original, although certain parts of slightly different pattern and colour probably date from later restorations.
V&A object number: 466-1882.
This spinet, with wood finish and trestle stand, exemplifies the newer English approach to decorating keyboard instruments which, during the Restoration, abandoned painted and gilded surfaces of the English virginals in favour of plain wood or veneered finishes. John Player also made virginals, one of which belonged to Charles II. Most virginals and spinets have only one set of strings, with no possibilities for varying the volume or tone colour. They naturally served for practice, but were also widely used for solos and accompanying intimate ensembles of singers and quiet instruments like the lute and viol.