The decoration of these instruments


The outer case

         It was desired to decorate the cases of the instruments in a style that was contemporary both with the instruments of Onofrio Guarracino, active in Naples in the second half of the seventeenth century, and with some of the other Neapolitan instrument-builders of this period.  A number of sources was used as inspiration for the decoration in addition to the decoration actually found on instruments (for example see the decoration on the anonymous harpsichord in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York):  church altars, pattern books, engravings, decorations inside buildings (the castello in Sasso Morelli, the rafaelesco decorations in the Castel Sant’Angello in Rome), etc. 


          The decoration work of instruments 1, 3 and 4 was carried out by Stefano Pessione in Rome.  The decoration of instrument number 2 was carried out by Silvia Morsiani in Imola, near to Castel San Pietro (but on the wrong side of the Silaro!)


          The decoration of the decorated cases are given below.  Click on the smaller images for a full-sized view with more details:


Instrument number 1

Outer lid decoration of instrument number 1

Case-side decoration of instrument number 1

Click on these images for further details:



For details of the lid painting click on the image below:


Instrument number 2


Cheek decoration:


Bentside decoration:

Tail decoration:


Fallboard decoration:


Lid decoration:



Instrument number 3





Instrument number 4

Outer case decoration of instrument number 4

Click on these images for further details:


          Instrument number 4 is decorated using Pozzuoli red as a pigment for the base colour, with a typical mannerist decoration consisting of plant-like figurations emanating from animal, human or mythological figures painted in yellow ochre.   The town of Pozzuoli, from where this red-earth pigment first originated, is just outside of Naples.  Pozzuoli red was a colour much loved in the decoration of the houses and public buildings in Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other Roman towns near the present city of Naples.


The soundboard rosettes


The elaborate stands



 All of these instruments have now been sold.  For further details click here.


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