Musical Instruments at the South Kensington Museum: R.—Spinetdetails

[Picture: Musical Instruments at the South Kensington Museum: R.—Spinet]
previous image

Image title:

Musical Instruments at the South Kensington Museum: R.—Spinet

Taken from


Out of copyright (called public domain in the USA), hence royalty-free stock image for all purposes usage credit requested
Please do not redistribute without permission, since running this site is expensive.


A Spinet is a sort of harpsichord—that is, a musical instrument with a keyboard but in which the keys are plucked rather than monked with a hammer as in a piano. The strings in a spinet go off at an angle, which means the instrument doesn’t need to be as long.

This one has 49 keys and (as was common) an ornate front, marked, Anniballis de roxis mediolanensis MDLXXVII (i.e. 1677).

The Italian spinit, made by Annibale Rosso, of Milan, in 1577, pas purchased at the Paris Exhibition for £1200. It is 4 ft. 9½in. long, of wood and ivory, set with nearly 2000 precious stones, turquises, rubies and garnets, pearls, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, agates and jaspers, lapis lazuli, and others. The shape of this instrument is like the dulcimer; it is open at the top, and fitted with strings to the range of four octaves and a semitone, having one string for each tone. It has a circular sound-hole in the middle of the sound-board.

There is a mention of this particular spinet in an old Italian book called “La Nobilità di Milano,” which states that it was bought for 500 scudi, or crowns, by Signor Carlo Trivulzio, and that it was much admired.” (p. 168)



150 x 144mm (5.9 x 5.7 inches)

Place shown:



Scanner dpi:

2400 dots per inch



Similar images: