Cinthius Rotundus
Anon guitar

Minor restorations



A tricky restoration for the Macaulay collection, was to a late ‘Roman’ archlute by Cinthius Rotundus, Rome, 1699.

This was a fairly complete, but much damaged, late baroque archlute. A particular problem with this instrument was that it had been clumsily restored in the past, with several sturdy planks of softwood firmly glued across the inside of the back. Thus here it was necessary to remove the top, and this, apart from causing the usual slight further damage revealed that a lot of removal of irrelevant parts, and repair needed to be done. Lute soundboards should be glued on with thin glue to aid their removal for repairs, but here the intention seems to have been absolute permanence.

Following removal of the inappropriate repairs, the back needed a lot of work, as the rosewood ribs had between them ivory or bone lines, many of which had come adrift and need careful coaxing back into place and re-glueing with shaped pairs of cauls to clamp them. A particular problem with lute backs is the difficulty of getting to both sides with clamps (the Rauwolf restoration proved to be especially difficult in this respect).

The soundboard was replaced, after some discussion as to whether it should be left separate to show the interior structure, and a small missing piece of rib was left unrepaired, but strengthened, so that the interior could at least be inspected. Other small missing pieces were filled with coloured hard wax easily removable and the instrument was strung with appropriate thicknesses of gut under almost no tension. Thus its final appearance was that of a perfectly playable archlute.

Cinthius Rotundus | Anon guitar | Sellas | Rauwolf | Langenwalder | Railich | Minor restorations


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