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Citole
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A CITOLE is the medieval equivalent of a guitar. This example is both a unique survival of its type and an outstanding example of medieval secular art. It was highly prized in its day and continued to be highly regarded throughout its history.

The back, sides and neck are all carved from a single piece of wood and date from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. Several alterations have been made to the citole, including attempts to convert it to a violin.

The citole is carved with trees, forest creatures and hunting scenes. A silver plate has been added, engraved with the arms of Elizabeth I, Queen of England (1558-1603) and her favourite and lover, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The gittern was used to accompany love ballads in the medieval period; this, and the hunting decoration, probably appealed to Elizabeth and Leicester, for both were passionate hunters.

Citole


Made in England, c. AD 1280-1330
L. 61 cm
Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund and the Pilgrim Trust




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