Italian Virginal

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by an unknown maker in Italy, in the 17th century. It is a polygonal virginal with a compass of C/E - c3, and a disposition of 1 x 8’. This instrument has a cypress soundboard, and dark-stained boxwood naturals and dark wood accidentals. The outer edge, jack rail, nameboard, and endblocks are decorated with ivory studs. The soundboard contains a 3-1/8” diameter parchment rose.
The separable outer case is painted dark brown. There are traces of painted decorations on the interior of the lid that have been painted over. The simple trestle stand is not original.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
17th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
metal (overall material)
instrument: 6 1/2 in x 51 1/2 in x 13 3/4 in; 16.51 cm x 130.81 cm x 34.925 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


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