Unknown1550-1650 c.

National Music Museum, University of South Dakota

National Music Museum, University of South Dakota

Cornetto made in Italy, ca. 1550-1650 (NMM 10135). This instrument represents the typical Italian style of cornetto, commonly made between the mid-16th and the late-17th century. Like the majority of surviving cornetti, it is neither signed nor dated. The octagonal plum-wood body is carved in two halves, glued, bound together, and wrapped with leather. The top of the instrument (above the tone holes) is decorated with a diamond pattern. These patterns were applied with punches, similar to bookbinder's stamps, and reflect the influence of the craft of bookbinding, which was highly developed in northern Italy at the time this instrument was made. There are six finger-holes on the front and a thumb hole on the back of the instrument. The cornetto's original leather case is also preserved. Surviving cornetto cases are rare. This original, cow-hide case is made in one piece with a seam sewn along its entire length. The lower end cap is missing. The top end has been carefully beveled, as if someone planned to use it as a signaling instrument in its own right. Length of the cornetto: 542 mm.

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  • Title: Cornetto
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1550-1650 c.
  • Location: Italy
  • Original Source: photographer: Mark Olencki
  • Rights: National Music Museum, University of South Dakota
  • Other Makers: Rainer Weber (restorer); John R. McCann, Sandy, Utah (reproduction mouthpiece)
  • Medium: brasswind musical instrument
  • Credit: Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Colllection, 1999