Objet phare des musées de Grasse

Museum of Art and History of Provence


05 June 2014 / 17h00


1750 – maple wood and mahogany, bone, ivory, iron

Museum of the Art and History of Provence - donation by Dr. Bossuet

Inv. 03 45

The Museum's musical instruments are fascinating because of their rarity, originality, beauty or because of their maker's or owner's reputation.

Signed by Melling, a stringed instrument maker, this lute-shaped hurdy-gurdy belonged to Alexandre Maubert, a notable from Grasse and a cousin of Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

It has a sound box and different parts for the drone strings, tuning pegs, buzzing bridge, melody strings and ribbon. The mahogany sound board is decorated with a peripheral band inlaid with ebony, bone and ivory. The wheel turns around an axis located inside the sound box, which is connected to the S-shaped cast iron handle with an ivory pommel. On the inside, a handwritten label attests the instrument's origin: Melling stringed instrument maker / Rue Fromenteaux / à la belle vielleuse / Place du Louvre / Paris / 1750.