Catalogue number: 11.1
Original name: Lute Body.
Maker: Raphael Mest.
Place of origin: Padua, 1627.
Overall size: Body length: 487mm; body width: 307mm; body depth: 145mm approx.
Technical description: 27 ribs. Strap button possible of ebony on left-hand side (end button missing).
Inscription: There are a number of makers and repairers’ labels on the lining, as well as other strips of paper with printed text and music manuscript used to line the wood, many of which are not original.
“Rap[hael Mest in Fie]ssen, [Imperato] / del Misier Michael Hartung in Pa-/dua me fecit, Anno 162”
“Antonius Bachmann / Hoff Instrument und Laut[-]/tenmacherin in Berlin. 1753 / Reparirt.”
“Reparient / [?] / T A Matth? / in Berlin [?] / 1822”
“Rogers and Priestley me refecerunt / Birmingham 1891.”
“Soundboard Removed 1981 / Ronald Taylor / 190 Oxford Street, / Rugby. / Warwickshire. Tel. Pavilion 6285”
General literature: Sparr.
Repair history: In the B Index, amended 1977, SD writes Originally by Rachael Hartung of Padua, 1627. A far larger and more complex neck in Baroque Theorbo style was probably added by Antonius Bachmann of Berlin in 1753 (repair label inside body).
Other repairs were effected in Germany in 1822, in Birmingham in 1891 (Rodgers & Priestley).
The instrument was infested by worm in the late 1950s to early 1960s, as a result of which the Bachman neck broke away from the body at the joint (actually, the block itself came apart, leaving both sections intact).
The neck has been retained, and the remarkably well preserved pear also. A report on the feasibility and cost of possible restoration by David Rubio of Duns Tew, Oxon. was made in 1975. In 1981 this work was undertaken by Zachary Taylor.
Illustration references: See below.
Previous owner: Messrs A M & Royle A Shore. School of Music Committee members, donated an “Arch Lute of 1628” in July 1895.
Previous catalogue number: B: Item 1.