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Harpsichord

Girolamo Zenti (Viterbo 1609-11?–1666/7 Paris)

Date:
1666
Geography:
Rome, Italy
Medium:
Cypress, boxwood, ebony, brass, leather
Dimensions:
Inner instrument: L. 236.3 cm (93 1/16 in.), W. 84.5 cm (33 1/4 in.), D. 19.6 cm (7 11/16 in.); 3-octave span 49.9 cm (19 5/8 in.) Sounding lengths (longer of pair, close plucking point): AA 188.2 (9.9) c2 28.9 (4.6) f3 9.9 (2.2 ) estimated original c2 was 29 cm
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-plucked-harpsichord
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.1220
  • Description

    This large cypress instrument has two sets of unison strings, and, like most Italian harpsichords, can be removed from its outer painted case. An inscription explains that the instrument was restored in 1755 by Giovanni Ferrini, who replaced Bartolomeo Cristofori as Medici court harpsichord maker. Ferrini extended the range of its keyboard to the present GG–c'''. This harpsichord is one of only two that can be firmly attributed to Zenti.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: 1) (on nameboard) HIERONYMUS ZENTI FECIT ROMAE A.S. MDCLXVI/ JOANNES FERRINI FLORENTINVS RESTAVRAVIT MDCCLV.
    2) (date on c3 key) 1659

  • References

    Written by, Edited by David Rycroft. "An Italian Harpsichord of 1571: Clues to Its Construction." The Galpin Society Journal (1991), vol. XLIV, ill.

    "Keyboard Instruments." Summer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1989), Vol. 47, No. 1, pg. 18, ill.

    Written by, Honorary Editor Maurice Byrne. "The Acoustics of the Harpsichord: Response Curves and Modes of Vibration." The Galpin Society Journal (1985), vol. XXXVIII, pg. 58.

    "Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 10, ill.

    Historical Pianos, Clavichords and Harpsichords. N. E. Michel, Publisher. Pico Rivera, CA, 1970.

    Keyboard Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Picture Book. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1961, pg. 26-27, 7, fig. 13, ill.

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Europe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1904, vol. I, pg. 81.

    Catalogue of Keyboard Instruments. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, pg. 67,69, ill.



  • See also
501789

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