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A THIRTEEN COURSE THEORBO
A THIRTEEN COURSE THEORBO

Probably first half of the 18th Century, in the style of Jacob Heinrich Goldt, unlabelled

Details
A THIRTEEN COURSE THEORBO
Probably first half of the 18th Century, in the style of Jacob Heinrich Goldt, unlabelled
The body of nine alternating ivory and tortoiseshell ribs with engraved decorative scenes, the table probably later set with a triple geometric rose, the fingerboard and the back of the neck with fine tortoiseshell and ivory marquetry patterns of grotesques amid strapwork and a small mother-of-pearl medallion, the pegboxes replacements, thirteen courses of strings comprising eleven double courses and two single courses
15 in. (128.2 cm.) long overall; the length of the string 28 in. (72.3 cm.)
Provenance
Rothschild inv. no. AR288.

Lot Essay

This very fine instrument is likely to have been made in Hamburg, in the workshop of Jacob Heinrich Goldt. The printed label 'Jacobus Henricus Goldt', bearing the date 1734 in ink, appears on a theorbo acquired in 1856 by the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum, see A. Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria & Albert Museum, pt. 11, London, 1998, no. 7/8; and P. Thornton, Form and Decoration, Innovation in the Decorative Arts, 1470-1870, London, 1998, pl. 274). Other examples of Goldt's work are in the Musical History Museum, Stockholm. Its beribboned arabesques, known in Germany as Laub und Bandelwerk, derive from Jean Berain's engravings issued between 1680 and 1710, and from the related designs of Daniel Marot (d. 1752), the Paris-trained 'archtitect' to King William III. The latter's designs issued around 1700 were adopted throughout Europe and later plagiarised in part by engravers in Augsburg.

Jacob Heinrich Goldt (c. 1700-1775) was an assistant to Joachim Tielke, the great Hamburg lute maker, although he was apparently never accepted into the violin makers' guild there. An example by this maker is in the Musical History Museum in Stockholm (inv. no. 87).
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