Original 17th Century Renaissance Bass Lute

May 23, 2022

For Sale

Professional performance condition. Inquire for price. poliviosart@gmail.com

An exceedingly rare original 17th Century 9-course Renaissance Bass Lute in restored condition. Suitable for professional performance.

This precious historical treasure is suited for both the professional concert artist or serious collector, institution or museum. This is a museum worthy piece.

The sound of this lute is absolutely tremendous. It is a very large lute. In some ways it resembles a harpsichord in power, but offers all the beauty of tone and dynamic gradation of the lute. Really the instrument possesses a type of ideal plucked sound. The lute has been beautifully restored by the master builder and restorer Sebastián Nuñez, it is now in excellent playing condition with ideal string action.

SEE VIDEO https://youtu.be/M1snG_t8yWU

As with almost all surviving lutes from the renaissance,it is composite instruments that has gone through many repairs and modifications over the centuries. So parts would range from the 17th century until the modern day. The body has twenty-six ribs which appear to be original, neck, fingerboard and reflex peg box (perhaps 19th century). Outstanding thin bone edging, pierced parchment rose with a surrounding of mother of pearl segments set in black mastic. An ivory carving of the Madonna and Child. The neck is overlaid with ebony and bone. The fingerboard has a large bone plaque inset in ebony with scrolling foliage. Modern bridge with ideal string spacing for ease of play.

There is a repairer’s label inside – Sebastián Nuñez Reparavit Ultrajectum Anno 1992.

The Lute has quite a special history. It was previously housed in the museum in Den Haag. The lute comes from the collection of Daniël François Scheurleer (1855-1927). This collection was later part of the one in the museum in Den Haag.

The lute belonged to the very famous dutch artist and painter Constant Anton Nieuwenhuys from the COBRA movement.  Nieuwenhuys had lent a fabulous painting to the Haags Gemeentemuseum (museum in Den Haag). The former director of the museum, Rudi Fuchs, who had no interest in the musical instruments collection of the museum, exchanged some historical instruments for the painting knowing that Constant was a lover of musical instruments. He had a nice collection of instruments at his house in Amsterdam.
It was Nieuwenhuys who brought the lute to Sebastián Nuñez, who was a friend of his, for restoration.

Selling this instrument will no doubt be one of my life’s great regrets, but alas financial necessity dictates that it must be so.

This a large bass lute. Ideal for ensemble work as well as solo.

String length: 88cm
Width at nut: 9cm
String spacing at bridge: 11cm

Do not hesitate to ask further questions.


CONTACT poliviosart@gmail.com