Italian Clavicytherium

Description (Brief)
This harpsichord was made by an unknown maker in Italy, possibly 19th century. It is a clavecytherium with a compass of C/E - a2, and a disposition of 2 x 8’. This instrument has a cypress soundboard with three sound holes, and boxwood naturals and ebony accidentals. There are three holes in the soundboard for roses: 2", 2-3/4", and 3-1/2" diameters.
The inseparable case is made of painted wood with a band of decoration in a darker color. The clavecytherium sits atop a separable painted stand with painted tendril designs with a scalloped front and stretcher bar, not original to the instrument.
The clavecytherium is a type of harpsichord with the soundboard and strings mounted vertically facing the player, similar to an upright piano.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
paint (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 65 1/2 in x 29 1/2 in x 14 1/2 in; 166.37 cm x 74.93 cm x 36.83 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
Credit Line
Gift of Hugo Worch
Additional Media

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