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Virginal

Stephanus Mutinensis

Category

Musical instruments, devices and recordings

Date

1537

Materials

Walnut and ivory

Measurements

17 x 100 x 39 cm

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Collection

Westwood Manor, Wiltshire (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Westwood Manor, Wiltshire, South West, National Trust

NT 222287

Summary

Virginal in parquetry case. § The instrument has a walnut case of pentagonal form decorated with floral arabesques with stylised leaves and flowers of ivory, and heraldic shields, all being enclosed by stringing line borders. Above the keyboard in inked letters is STEPHANUS NUTINENSIS 1537, the case closing with iron hinges and having a lock and hasp. § The term virginal, first noted here c1460 (but earlier in France and Germany) was used generically for all types of plucked keyboard instruments until the mid 17th Century when differentiation was made more firmly between Virginal Spinet and Harpsichord according to case shape, virginals being rectangular or similar with the strings parallel to the keyboard. Such cases are associated with the Clavichord, Virginals, initially being called 'Clavicordium Virginale' through their popularity in convents and with ladies. This term was certainly in use in Henry VIIIs reign.

Provenance

E.G. Lister collection

Marks and inscriptions

STEPHANUS NUTINENSIS 1537

Makers and roles

Stephanus Mutinensis

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