Et vos doigts sur les Espinettes, Pour dire Sain tea Chansonettes.
With this written testimony we have fortunately the testimony of the instruments themselves, Italian oblong spinets (Spinetta a Tavola), or those graceful pentangular instruments, without covers attached, which are so much prized for their external beauty. The oldest bearing a date is in the Conservatoire at Paris, by Francesco di Portal upis, Verona, 1523. The next by Antoni Patavini, 1550, is at Brussels. We have at S. Kensington two by Annibal Rosso of Milan, 1555 and 1577, and one by Marcus Jadra (Marco dai Cembali ; or dalle Spinette) 1568. Signor Kraus has, at Florence, two 16th-century spinets, one of which is signed and dated, Benedictus Florianus, 1571; and at the Hdtel Cluny, Paris, there is one by the Venetian Baffo, date 1570, whose harpsichord (clavicembalo) at S. Kensington is dated 15 74.*
���For the pentangular or heptangular model it is probable that we are indebted to Annibal Rosso, whose instrument of 1555 * s engraved in the preceding illustration. Mr. Carl Engel has reprinted in the S. Kensington Catalogue (1874, p. 273) a passage from 'La Nobilita di
i Since the article HARPSICHORD was written, an Italian clavicem- r>a!o has been acquired for South Kensington, that is now the oldest keyed instrument in existence, with a date. It is a single keyboard harpsichord with two strings to each key ; the compass nearly 4 octaves, from to D. The natural keys are of boxwood. The in- scription is ' Asplcite ut trahitur suavl ModulamSne Vocis. Quicquid habent aer sidera terra fretrum. Hieronymus Bononiensis Faciebat Eomae MDXXI.' The outer case of this instrument is of stamped leather. It was bought of a 'brocanteur' in Paris for 120J. We know of no other instrument by Geronimo of Bologna. Another harpsi- chord nearly as old has been seen by the writer this year (1882) in
Milano' (1595), which he thus renders: 'Han- nibal Rosso was worthy of praise, since he was the first to modernise clavichords into the shape in which we now see them,' etc. The context clearly shows that by 'clavichord' spinet was meant, clavicordo being used in a general sense equivalent to the German Clavier. If the modern- ising was not the adoption of the beautiful forms shown in the splendid examples at South Ken- sington that by Rosso, of 1577, having been bought at the Paris Exhibition of 1 867 for i 200 on account of the 1928 precious stones set into the case it may possibly have been the wing- form, with the wrestpins above the keys in front, which must have come into fashion about that time, and was known in Italy as the Spinetta Traversa; in England as the Stuart, Jacobean, or Queen Anne spinet, or Couched Harp. There is a very fine Spinetta Traversa, emblazoned with the arms of the Medici and Compagni families, in the Kraus Museum (1878, no. 193). Praetorius illustrates the Italian spinet by this special form, speaks (' Organographia,' Wolfenbiittel, 1619) of larger and smaller spinets, and states that in the Netherlands and England the larger was known as the Virginal. The smaller ones he describes as 'the small triangular spinets which were placed for performance upon the larger instruments, and were tuned an octave higher.' Of this small instru- ment there are specimens in nearly all museums ; the Italian name for it being ' Ottavina ' (also 'Spinetta di Serenata'). We find them fixed in the bent sides of the long harpsichords, in two remarkable specimens; one of which, by Hans Ruckers, 2 is preserved in the Kunst-und- Gewerbe Museum, Berlin (there is a painting of
Messrs. Cbappell's warehouse. It is a long instrument in an outer painted case. The belly and marking off are evidently not original, but the keyboard of boxwood with black sharps has not been meddled with. There are Si octaves from F to C ; the lowest F$ and G# are omitted. The maker's inscription, nearly illegible, records that the instrument was made by a Florentine at Fisa, in 1526.
2 This rare Hans Ruckers harpsichord was seen by the writer sub- sequent to the compilation of the catalogue appended to the article RUCKERS. As others have also been found, the following particulars of them complete the above-mentioned list to 1882. [See also ViR-
�HANS RUCKERS the Elder.
�Bent side harp- sichord with octave spinet in one.
�ft. in. ft. in. 5 11 by 2 6
�2 keyboards ; the front one 4 oct., C-C ; the side one 3 ^ Oct., E A, without the highest G; 3 stops in original position at the right-hand side ; white naturals. Rose No. 1 ; and Rose to octave spinet an arabesque. Fainting in- side top showing a similar combined instru- ment. Inscribed HANS ROCKERS ME FECIT ANTWERPIA.
�Gewerbe Museum, Ber- lin.
�A. J. Hlpkins.
��HANS RUCKERS the Younger.
1629 j 7 4 by 8 | 2 keyboards; 58 keys. G F; black naturals. I M. Gerard de Prins,
��F. P. de Prins, Limerick.
��Beru side. Bent side.
��6 1 by 2 10J
��7 5 by 3
��ANDRIES RUCKERS the Elder.
1 keyboard ; 4 oct., C-C ; without lowest C# ; white naturals. Rose No. 6; painting of a hunt.
2 keyboards, each 5 oct. ; black naturals. Rose No. 6. Inscribed ANDREA RUCKERS ME FECIT ANTVEEPIAE.
��M. G. de Prins.
��. Paul Endel, Paris.
��F. P. de Prins. P. Endel.