Late 16th century -  Late 17th century

Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle
Milan, Italy

The instrument’s case and soundboard are made of cypress wood, with a deal baseboard. It has two registers: an 8-foot one and a 4-foot one (the foot is the measurement unit that is generally used to indicate cord length in ancient keyboard instruments). The outer case features precious chiselled leather lining with a painted gold and black grapevine design on a red ground. The inscription on the jackrail, which attributes the instrument to Vito Trasuntino, renowned 16th-17th century Venetian harpsichord maker, is not authentic. The construction style and decoration of the outer case, however, confirm that it was made in Venice during the stated period. This is further confirmed by the resemblance between the mouldings on this harpsichord and those produced by Giovanni Celestini, another famous Venetian craftsman of the time. The harpsichord has undergone several changes over the centuries, but most of its original features have been restored by work commissioned by the Museum in 1970 and in 1993. The keyboard and jacks that are found on the instrument today were made in 1993.


  • Title: Harpsichord
  • Date Created: Late 16th century -  Late 17th century
  • Location: Comune di Milano - Museo degli Strumenti Musicali
  • Physical Dimensions: w90 x h23,2 x d231,8 cm (Without stand)
  • Type: Musical instrument
  • Rights: Comune di Milano - Raccolte Artistiche del Castello Sforzesco.
  • External Link: http://strumentimusicali.milanocastello.it/
  • Medium: Cypress, deal, walnut, beech, ebony, ivory, leather
  • Art Form: Musical instrument
  • Original title: Clavicembalo
  • Artist Death Date: 17th century
  • Artist Birth Date: 16th century

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