321.321-71 Necked bowl lutes sounded by bowing with a bow

Gusle. Made from a single piece of wood, with elaborate carved decoration. The body is shaped like an almond, with splaying ribs. The background pattern is of basketwork. On the back is carved a coat of arms (Austro-Hungarian Empire?), with perforations incorporated into the design. Carved onto the sides are four busts of warriors, each wearing a helmet with a dragon crest and labelled: Ivan Kosancic / Milan Toplika / Milos Obilic / Relja Krilatika. All national heroes. The neck is carved into a wavy pattern and terminates in a a horse head scroll. The root of the neck is carved with a stylised wolf's head. The single peg is elaborately turned. The sound-board is a piece of parchment, tacked onto the ribs and trimmed with red, white and blue ribbon. Flat bridge. Single gut string tied to a hook at the end of the instrument. Presumably influenced by nationalist fervour. Label: GUSLE. c. 1900 Yugoslavia.

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