Italian Virginal

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by an unknown maker in Italy, about 1602. It is a rectangular-shaped virginal with a compass of C/E - f3, and a disposition of 1 x 8’. This instrument has a cypress soundboard, and boxwood naturals dark-stained accidentals. It has spurious nameboard inscribed: “JOHANNES BAPTISTA BONONIEN: MDCII.”
The inseparable case is made of dark-green painted wood. The interior of the lid features a painted landscape scene with dancing and playing figures and a painted band of musical instruments at the top. Research indicates that the interior lid painting appears to applied in the early 18th century with the top band added later. The instrument was acquired without a stand.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1602
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 59 1/2 in x 19 3/4 in; 20.32 cm x 151.13 cm x 50.165 cm
place made
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


Add a comment about this object