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Musical Instruments

Hurdy gurdy with lute shaped body

Key data

dated 1746

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.

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Basel Historical Museum
Management & administration
Steinenberg 4
PO box
CH – 4001 Basel

Reception: +41 61 205 86 00

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