Fransois Feury, Paris
Two melody and four drone strings of gut, four steel sympathetic strings
front fir, body of maple and mahogany splints
two C shaped sound holes
keys and edge of lid faced or inlaid with ivory and ebony
overall length 64 cm
The signature of François Feury (Paris ca. 1711 - after 1772) is found on the inside of the openable lid, above the tangent mechanism: "F. Feury, rue des Fossez St. Germain de l'Auxerrois proche la Rue de l'Arbre sec. A Paris 1746". The strings are played by a wheel connected to a handle; the melody strings are shortened by a keyboard mechanism with tangents. One of the four drone strings ('la trompette') runs over a snare bridge. This is engaged by a tailpiece inserted in the peg and produces a timbre reminiscent of the braying of a trumpet. These luxurious instruments were used for pastoral music making in elevated society in France in the C18.