A highly unusual small rustic hurdy-gurdy, with a walnut top and brass back with integral brass button, hand-sculpted head and three strings ( one chanterelle and two drones). The three bridges, with heart-shaped cutouts, are contemporary with the instrument. The tailpiece also has a heart-shaped cutout and is edged in brass, with an early but not original trompette peg. S-shaped sound holes in the top. Original hand-wrought turned iron crank with turned walrus tusk (?) handle. 13 walnut keys. Original walnut wheel (cover missing). The key box, also of walnut, has a lid with one mother-of-pearl decoration and two metal decorations. Inside the top of the lid are the remnants of a label, the end of which reads Tailley, which is a town located in central Eastern France.
A splendid and quite charming example. Athough rustic, it is well made and with good materials. Because of its durability, the rounded brass back and the head which has the appearance of a ship's figurehead, it might have been intended for use by a mariner at sea.INS-14111$5,000