Lute or Tiorbino

Lute or Tiorbino

c. 1620


Overall: 100.7 x 27.7 cm (39 5/8 x 10 7/8 in.)

The Charles G. King, Jr. Collection. Gift of Ralph King in memory of Charles G. King, Jr. 1918.368



The lute was the most important musical instrument in secular settings throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Not only a virtuoso instrument with a huge repertoire, the lute provided the ideal accompaniment for the voice, played an essential role in ensembles, figured in masques and operas, and was played by amateurs as well as professionals. A highly specialized instrument, this tiorbino is a type of long-necked lute resembling a theorbo, but significantly smaller and pitched an octave higher. An object of great rarity, it is one of the smallest Baroque tiorbinos to survive.

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