Hurdy-gurdy

early 19th century
Rémy Bassot (French, 1792–1870)


Object Place: Mirecourt, France

Dimensions

Length 71 cm, width 26.5 cm (Length 27 15/16 in., width 10 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

17.1735

Medium or Technique

Maple, ebony, ivory

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

Collections

Europe, Musical Instruments

Classifications

Chordophones

Bottom, sides, and belly of maple. Rope-pattern binding of ivory and ebony along edges of belly.
C-shaped soundholes. Pegbox of maple with carved human head. Key-box of maple attached to the belly and to the peg-box; hinged cover, of birch veneered with ebony, attached to the key-box. Six sagittal anterior pegs of oak stained black. Twenty-three keys of pearwood inserted in the key-box, each key having two tangents: thirteen naturals with plain heads stained dark-brown, ten sharps with ivory heads. Six strings, occipital fastening; two chanterelles passing over a nut close to the peg-box through the clearance between the key-box and its cover, over the bridge and attached to the tailpiece; trompette string passing over the auxiliary nut on the right side of the key-box, over the small bridge (lost) and attached to a small ivory bracket on the rib at the lower end; a mouche string passing over the same nut and over the right side auxiliary bridge, and both fixed to the small ivory bracket on the rib. Rotary friction wheel of maple mounted on the steel axle with crank and ivory handle: all the strings are vibrated by this friction wheel. Tailpiece of maple veneered with ebony, permanently fixed to the end block. Long ivory peg in the tailpiece for the auxliary string controlling the trompette string. Small vertical ebony peg inserted in the belly (used for hitching the trompette string). Half-cylindrical wheel guard veneered with ebony and set between two ebony brackets on the belly. Three turned mahogany pins in the ribs for the holding strap. Inside construction: top and end blocks of pine; two crossbars on the back; the soundpost, forked at the upper part, placed directly under the main bridge. Light yellow varnish.

Inscription

In ink below pegbox: Bassot á Rozerotte / Vosges; in ink on underside of keybox lid: Louvet paris

Provenance

Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection