Antegnati Virginal

Description (Brief)
This instrument was made by Giovanni Francesco (Gian Francesco) Antegnati in Brescia, Italy, around 1540. It is a polygonal virginal with a compass of C/E - a3 (original compass was F/G/A - f3), and a disposition of 1 x 8’. The soundboard is made of cypress with a rose carved directly into the soundboard, lute-style, which is characteristic of instruments made by Giovanni Francesco Antegnati. This harpsichord has boxwood naturals and ebony-colored accidentals. The nameboard, probably a later addition or re-inscribed, is inscribed: “ARTUS GHEERDINCK ME FECIT ANNO 1603.”
The separable outer case is painted light blue with floral designs and masks. The interior of the lid is painted with a snow landscape. The instrument rests on a table stand with 4 elaborately carved gilt legs.
Other instruments attributed to Giovanni Francesco Antegnati are in the collections of the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Rome, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Berlin.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1540
Antegnato, Franceso
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
paint (overall material)
place made
Italia: Lombardia, Brescia
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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