after M. Kaiser, E. 24, Musée de la musique, Paris
This is a beautifully designed theorbo. The length of the body, neck and extension are well proportioned. The triple rose with a serpentine border is elegantly positioned on a close grained belly . The instrument has a moderately shallow 27 rib ebony bowl with ivory spacers. Throughout, the quality of materials and construction is extraordinary.
When I examined the theorbo in March 2000 I noted that although the body was intact the bar sizes and positions were plainly visible through several wide cracks in the belly including the diminutive J-bar that is characteristic of early barring patterns. This information is invaluable not only for reproducing the tonal characteristics of early 17th century theorbos but also for reaffirming the antiquity of the instrument. I model the dimensions of the bowl and belly as closely as possible.
Specifications: The 27 rib ebony or rosewood bowl with
holly spacers is approximately 59.5 cm long, 38 cm wide
and 17 cm deep. The original string lengths are 88.4 and
173 centimeters. The instrument shown here has an rosewood
bowl, a 9 fret neck with string lengths of 86 and 170 cm.