Juan Maria da Bressa: / fece in Venecia [printed, in red ink]
No. of Strings:
WA1939.27 (Ash.01); Boyden 1
Messrs. Arthur and Alfred Hill, London, -1939
PT visit 6/77, Boyden 1969, pp. 6-7
Fleming 2011, pp. 20-27, 78-79; Pio 2011, p. 127; Topham 2002, p. 250; Coates 1985, pp. 35-38; Boyden 1969, pp. 6-7
Fleming 2011, pp. 20-27 (front 3/4, both sides, F+B body only, head FB+S, bottom rib, details of decoration, label (color); Fleming 2009, p. 124 (front [color]); Whiteley 2008, p. 5 (front [color]); König 1985, Tafel 12-13 (F+B, head; color); Charlton 1985, pl. 1 (front); Boyden 1969, pl. 1 (FB+S); Baines 1966, pl. 76-9 (FB+S)
Boyden 1969: Original neck, fingerboard, pegbox, scroll, and tailpiece. 1-piece back cut on the slab; no ears on scroll; single purfling front and back. “Probably made between 1500 and 1525” based on typeface of label and biographical information [now known to be incorrect]. Drescher 1990: maker gave his age as 61 in 1591, hence born c. 1530. Topham 2002: could not establish a date for table using dendrochronology. Fleming 2011: 1-piece carved table, 1-piece back (slab cut), both with single purfling; back and ribs from same tree. Scroll, pegbox, and neck all one piece; fingerboard with ebony veneer is original, matching tailpiece is not. Bridge marks suggest SL of 31.5-35.0 cm; perhaps a sopranino in G? No linings, crossbars, or soundpost plate; shallow carved bass bar under bass bridge foot; has always had tailgut and button. Pegs very close together, and neck widened with veneer: perhaps originally for 5 strings? Flat-sided scroll coarsely carved and of generic design. Instrument “has endured much damage and repair”; made 1-2 generations later than Boyden thought. Lira da braccia by same maker also in Ashmolean; typeface of labels different, but both used in 2H16C. Dimensions 35.8, 17.8/14.7/21.4, 7.0, 31.4 (widths with calipers). Pio 2011, p. 127: cornerless shape not found in Venetian iconography of the 16C; perhaps reshaped from a larger instrument? Drawing by John Pringle (1981) formerly available from W.E. Hill & Sons.