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citole

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1963,1002.1

  • Description

    Citole, formerly known as a gittern, later remodelled as a violin; wood, silver gilt, glass. The original parts are the back, sides and neck; the new parts are the sound-board with vaulted profile, the finger-board, tailpiece and bridge; a silver gilt plate engraved with the Garter and arms of Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, has been placed above the pegbox. The centre part of the trefoil is a replacement.The carved decorative panels with forest scenes comprising huntsmen, foresters, animals, the end terminating in a dragon.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1280-1330 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 610 millimetres
    • Width: 186 millimetres
    • Depth: 147 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Alexander & Binski, 1987, see bibliography:
    'The use of foliate borders, the oak leaf panel showing a typical Labours of the Month scene infested with hunters and animals, can be paralleled in the pages of early 14th century English manuscripts such as the early part of the Ormesby Psalter of c. 1310. Analogues in wood are much harder to find. The best comparison, particularly with its very naturalistic early Decorated foliage and figure carving in the spandrels, is the choir stalls at Winchester Cathedral, 1308-10 seqq. The lions on the back of the instrument resemble the one on a misericord from John of Glaston's choristalls, 1309-10 at Exeter Cathedral, and also examples in stone of the same date at Exeter in the north transept and eastern bay of the nave. The hawthorn sprays are identical to those on the capitals in the crypt of St Stephen's Chapel, WEstminster. The sharply-cut skeletal handling of the quatrefoil friezes is close to that on the trefoil friezes of Prior Eastry's choir screen at Canterbury Cathedral.

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  • Bibliography

    • Alexander & Binski 1987 no522 bibliographic details
    • Robinson 2008 p. 214 bibliographic details
    • Cherry 1991 pp.8-9 (illustrated and described) bibliographic details
    • Remnant & Marks 1980 pp83-134 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G40/dc3

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    2012 19 Jul-25 Nov, London, BM Shakespeare: Staging the World
    2011 28 Nov-2012 5 Mar, Paris, Musée National du Moyen Âge, Gaston Phoebus and The Book of the Hunt
    1987-1988 6 Nov-6 Mar, London, Royal Academy of Arts, Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200-1400

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1963

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1963,1002.1

Citole, later remodelled as a violin; wood; body and neck made from single piece of boxwood; carved with decorative panels of foliage inhabited by huntsmen, foresters, beasts and grotesques; violin type finger board and sounding board; peg box with silver-gilt cover engraved with arms of Queen Elizabeth I, surrounded by Garter; badge of Earl of Warwick surmounted by the Garter.

Front:Left Side

Citole, later remodelled as a violin; wood; body and neck made from single piece of boxwood; carved with decorative panels of foliage inhabited by huntsmen, foresters, beasts and grotesques; violin type finger board and sounding board; peg box with silver-gilt cover engraved with arms of Queen Elizabeth I, surrounded by Garter; badge of Earl of Warwick surmounted by the Garter.

Image description

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Object reference number: MCM8019

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