Queen Elizabeth Virginal

Harpsichord
Date of appearance: 1594
Author: Giovanni Baffo
Made in: Italy
Materials: Wood, Metal
Colors: Light Brown, Green
Tags: music


Conservation of art objects sometimes reveals the most interesting information about the object’s history. With its variety of different decoration techniques and luxurious materials, the keyboard instrument known as the Queen Elizabeth’s Virginal, which evidently belonged to the ‘Virgin Queen’, is a very interesting example of fine 16th-century Venetian craftsmanship.The rich embellishment of the virginal includes magnificent sgraffito (scratched) ornamentation in red and blue glazes on gold, an elaborate laminated wood and parchment rosette set into the soundboard, keys inlaid with various materials, and key fronts decorated with embossed and gilded paper. Property of Venice Museum

Queen Elizabeth Virginal
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