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Charles van Raalte



The theorbo, also known as a chitarrone, is a stringed instrument in the lute family. They were developed in the late 16th century in Italy in response to a growing demand for bass range instruments as they did not interefere with the audibility of words sung in opera.


This theorbo is labelled 'Caesar Aldana creatus 18 Novemb. 1567'. The instrument is made of 21 thin ivory strips and has an ebonised neck inlaid with ivory. The instrument features three intersecting soundholes, or 'roses', inset with a pierced parchment rose, and its pegbox is surmounted by a grotesque carved head.



L: 166cm
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
1567; with later addition from 17th century on
East Ayrshire Council

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