This cithern or 'English Guitar' has an ebony finger board with brass frets and a metal rose in the soundboard.  The most notable thing however which sets it apart from other examples in the Van Raalte collection is the addition of a keyboard of six keys which would allow the player to strike the strings with a hammer action rather than plucking them.  This device was introduced in 1738 by Christian Klaus of London to protect the performers fingers from becoming calloused or being cut by the strings, of which this particular instrument has four pairs plus two single ones.
Object no :
EAMU037a, b, c
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Dimensions :
length 673mm
Materials :
maple, pine, ivory, brass
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Copyright :
East Ayrshire Council
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