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Miniature Virginal by Franciscus Vaninus, Bologna, 1672

Miniature virginal by Franciscus Vaninus, Bologna, Italy, 1672 and small grand piano by Davison & Redpath, London, 1789

NMM 3449.  Miniature virginal by Franciscus Vaninus, Bologna, Italy, 1672.   Single manual, c/e-f2 (2+ octaves); 1 x 2'. Ex coll.:  E. M. W. Paul.   Witten-Rawlins Collection, 1984.

Rests on NMM 2906, a small grand piano by Davison & Redpath, London, 1789.   This unusual, small piano was once owned by Elizabeth Learned Peabody, Lake Forest, Illinois, who brought it with her, when she married, from the Learned family home in Natchez, Mississippi.   Board of Trustees, 1982.


Miniature Virginal

Keyboard, front view Arcade Keyboard, front view Keyboard, front view Molding, left interior Molding, left interior Molding, left exterior Molding, right interior Molding, right interior Molding, right exterior Tuning pins Molding, right exterior Tuning pins Tuning pins Front of keyboard Front of keyboard Front of keyboard Molding, left interior Jack rail mount Storage compartment cover Front of virginal Front of virginal

Click on major structural features of image above to see larger views or choose from list below.

Front of Virginal and Keyboard
Arcade on a Single Key
Left Side, Interior View of Repaired Molding
Left Side, Exterior View of Repaired Molding
Right Side, Interior View of Molding
Right Side, Exterior View of Molding
Tuning Pins
Jack Rail Mount
Storage Compartment Cover

This exquisite virginal (rectangular harpsichord), hardly more than a foot long, was presumably made for a child of the nobility or aristocracy. Fully functional despite its small size, it might have been used for his or her first music lessons, if not as an extravagant toy. This instrument, together with a nearly identical miniature virginal in the Museo degli Strumenti Musicali in Milan and a nineteenth-century reference suggesting the existence of another virginal, now lost, of unspecified size, dated 1673, are all that is known of Vaninus or his work. He signed the NMM instrument with a handwritten paper label in the interior. Although slightly damaged, the missing letters can be supplied by a later copy of the inscription written in pencil on the bottom board: FRAN[C]IS[CVS VA]NINUS BONONIENSIS FACIEBAT AO DI. M.DC.LXXII.

Handwritten paper label inside virginal

Above:  Paper label
Below:  Writing on bottom board
Click on either image to enlarge

Name written in pencil on bottom


Plan View

Click on major structural features of image above to see larger views or choose from list below.

Soundboard
Bridge
Keyboard
Tuning Pins
Jack Rail Mount
Storage Compartment Cover
Molding, Right Interior View
Molding, Right Exterior View
Molding (repaired), Left Interior View
Molding (repaired), Left Exterior View


Internal Views and Front of Keyboard

Arcade Front of keyboard Front of keyboard Interior view, left side Interior view, right side Molding, left interior Molding, right interior Molding, left exterior Molding, right exterior

Click on major structural features of image above to see larger views or choose from list below.

Front End View of Keyboard, Out of Case
Arcade on a Single Key
Molding, Right Interior View
Molding, Right Exterior View
Molding (repaired), Left Interior View
Molding (repaired), Left Exterior View
Interior View, Left Side
Interior View, Right Side
Storage Compartment, Internal Corner Block 1
Storage Compartment, Internal Corner Block 2


Keyboard and Jacks

Keyboard and jacks

Choose from list to see larger images:
Keyboard Action, Top View
Keyboard, Front End
Keyboard Action, Left Side
Keyboard Action, Right Side
Bottom of Keyboard
Single Jack, Front View
Single Jack, Back View


Bottom of Virginal

Choose from list to see larger images:
Bottom of Virginal
Maker's Name Written in Pencil
Lower Left Corners

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Storage compartment cover Rose Bridge Tuning pins Soundboard Soundboard Keyboard Molding, Left Interior Molding, Left Exterior Molding, Right Interior Molding, Right Exterior Jack rail mount Soundboard