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A Lute by Raphael Mest in Sweden


Kenneth Sparr ©


Füssen and the guild of lute makers Raphael Mest – lute maker in Füssen
Raphael Mest's instruments A description of the Mest-lute in Linköping
The double-headed lute – description and comparisons The dean Lars Kraft and Queen Christina's lute
Appendix Notes
Kenneth Sparr's Page  


The so-called Chamber of Curiosities at the Diocesan and County Library of Linköping contains, among other peculiarities a nice, small lute, made in 1633 by the lute maker Raphael Mest of Füssen. The lute is of interest in the context of early musical instruments, but also from a broader cultural standpoint: its place of origin, the lute-making craft, the biography of Raphael Mest and the Swedish connection of this particular lute. Descriptions of the Mest lute have been published in handbooks, but sometimes with inaccurate information and mostly in very condensed form.1) In 1996 the Diocesan and County Library caught fire and many valuable books and manuscripts were destroyed, but luckily enough the Mest lute was not severely damaged. It has recently been cleaned from soot and restored at the County Museum in Linköping. It will return to the rebuilt Chamber of Curiosities in the new library. A report from the County Museum on the cleaning and restoration of the lute is being made.2)

Füssen and the guild of lute makers

The little town of Füssen is situated in the southern part of Germany, by the river Lech and at a place where the Swabia, Bavaria and the Tyrol meet.3) The town also stands on the ancient trade route, Via Claudia Augusta, which the Roman emperor Claudius built in about 50 A.D. with the purpose of connecting northern Italy with the conquered German provinces. The Via Claudia had great importance as a trade route down to the middle of the seventeenth century. Füssen is an old town: its privileges date from the thirteenth century. For five hundred years, from the fourteenth until the beginning of the nineteenth century the town belonged to the Bishopric of Augsburg. Around 1600 the town had about 2,300 inhabitants, but after the Thirty Years War the population was reduced to about 800. In the forests of the Alps around Füssen there was a good supply of timber of the highest quality, which due to the high altitude and the climate grew slowly and evenly. Here one could find timber excellent for making musical instruments: sycamore, pine, maple, yew, silver fir, pear and poplar. Yew was already in the seventeenth century a rare and a desirable timber and a good access to this timber was of great importance for the lute makers.

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A view of Füssen from Matthäus Merian, Topographia Sveviae das ist Beschreib: und Aigentliche Abcontrafeitung der fürnembsten Stätte und Plätze in Ober vnd Nider Schwaben, Hertzogthum Würtenberg Marggraffschafft Baden vnd andern zu dem hochlöbl. Schwabischen Craiße gehörigen Landschafften und Orten. An Tag gegeben vndt verlegt durch Matthaeum Merian. (Frankfurt am Main, 1643)

This central geographical location and the rich resources of excellent timber were two important prerequisites for the large-scale production of musical instruments in Füssen and the surrounding area over several centuries. Timber, lutes and violins were the region's most important merchandise during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The craft of making lutes had a long tradition in Füssen. The earliest information we have about lute making dates from the 1430s, but the real flowering of the craft began during the first half of the sixteenth century. At its height there were more than twenty workshops in the town. We can certainly state that Füssen was the cradle of the lute maker's craft in Europe. While the most sought-after lutes were made in Padua, Bologna and Venice in Italy, it is conspicuous that many of these instruments were made by masters who came originally from Füssen and the surrounding region.

During the sixteenth century lute makers were so numerous that there was a need to organise and regulate the activity. This was effected by means of a guild statute, still preserved, which also was the first and for a long time the only one of its kind.4)  The guild statute was approved in 1562 and its most important features were provisions intended to secure the quality of the instruments produced, to set limits to competition and consequently keep prices at a high level. The guild statute further provided that:

the time of apprenticeship was to be five years;

the master was not to take a new apprentice until three years had passed since the last the apprentice had fulfilled his term of five years;

the apprentice was to pay one gulden to the coffers of the guild to be accepted into the guild, and the first month's income as an apprentice;

the apprentice was to make a lute with all its accessories, with his own hands, as a masterpiece;

the guild would then decide whether the masterpiece should be accepted or not;

a new master was to deposit two gulden in the coffers of the guild;

a new master was not to have an apprentice during his first three years as a master;

a new master, unless married, had to own his Rauch (that is his household) and his tools to be permitted to practice his profession.

The guild statutes ended with the rule that only the members of the guild were permitted to buy, market and trade planed timber for lute bodies.

The guild statute was revised on 22 April 1606; changes included provisions that a person could be apprenticed only if he was a 'righteous and legitimate son of parents who were subjects of the Bishopric of Augsburg'; the length of apprenticeship was shortened to two years; the apprentice must work two years at least with a master in Füssen before making a master-piece, unless he was the son of a burgher or a master in the town, or married the daughter or widow of a master and a man who did not marry was not allowed to be a master.

The guild met four times a year and if a member failed to attend the meetings he was fined. Fines were also imposed on those who slandered another master. Jakob Möst, probably Raphael Mest's father, belonged to those who signed the guild statutes of 1606. After 1600 new masters were approved at certain periods of time: in the beginning at the interval of five years and later at shorter intervals. The approval of new masters certainly had a ceremonial aspect and was usually held on some holiday, for example, the fourth Sunday in Lent.

One of the main aims of the guild was to assure the highest possible prices for instruments. The instruments were valued in Italy and the prices were fixed at a lowest level, which nobody was allowed to go below. In some cases the guild had an option to buy instruments and from time to time the guild functioned as a sales organisation. It was also in the interest of the guild to supervise the supply of timber and in 1609 the guild had great problems relating to a huge export of yew. It was in fact fetching a higher price as raw material for long bows for the English army, so the lute makers were competing with the arms trade!5)  Handling and trading in this rare and desirable timber was strictly controlled and in many cases was the subject of monompoly. The yew was primarily used for the back of the lutes and the Mest lute in Linköping is a good example of this.. The great export in 1609 and the fact that one of the members of the guild, Mang Hellmer, hoarded 1,200 planks of yew provoked an immediate reaction from the guild. The whole trade was threatened, but the guild successfully appealed to higher authorities to get Hellmer's business stopped and everyone could breathe a sigh of relief.

The guild statutes gives a good picture of the organisation of the lute making, but gives few details about the craft itself. The crucial importance of the supply of timber is obvious, and often the lute makers choose it directly from standing timber. They might spend weeks in the forest finding suitable trees. Usually they also cut down the trees themselves at a carefully chosen moment, which was decided according to long experience and tradition. The drying of the timber was a slow, but very important process and lute makers were indeed forced to plan on a long-term basis. The lute makers produced mainly lutes, but also other plucked and bowed instruments. The bowed instruments were later to dominate, but the craft of violin-making is still named lutherie in France and liuteria in Italy. As in many other crafts, the profession was often passed from father to son, and through marriages of convenience, relationships with many ramifications and circumstances of dependency. Together, all this meant that stability and a very long and continuos tradition could be maintained.

Raphael Mest – lute maker in Füssen

Raphael Mest was born c. 1590.6) As mentioned above his father was probably Jakob Möst, master of lute making. Jakob Möst possibly came from the Furt farm at Sameister, close to the north end of Füssen. Jakob had married one of the daughters of the lute makingmaster Wolfgang Wolf (dead in 1591; see Appendix!) in Füssen. Wolfgang Wolf's grandfather, Jörg, belongs among the earliest known lute makers in Füssen: he became a burgher of the city in 1493. Through his marriage, which took place on 15 May 1571, Jakob Möst's burghership in Füssen was facilitated and he became a burgher in 1578.7)  As already mentioned Jakob Möst was among the masters who signed the guild statutes of 1606 and his name is also to be found on the written complaint which the guild presented against the export of yew. Jakob Möst died in November 1615 and no instruments by him are preserved.

Raphael inherited the luthier's craft in and his apprenticeship probably was spent with his father. How long this apprenticeship lasted is not known, but the guild statutes of course prescribed five years. After his apprenticeship he should have left his father to learn more from other masters, working as a journeyman. Perhaps he went by the Via Claudia Augusta over the Alps via Trento to Padua in Italy. In Padua resided the lute maker Michael Hartung, and Raphael came under his supervision. This is clear from the labels in Raphael Mest's instruments: 'Raphael Mest in Fiessen, Imperato del Misier Michael Hartung in Padua…' Hartung himself originated from Tiefenbruck, quite close to Sameister, the birthplace of Jakob Möst. It is quite possible that Hartung and Möst knew each other and in that case it would have been normal for Raphael's father to establish contact with Hartung, with a view to securing tuition for Raphael. Hartung was among the most renowned lute makers at this period and he had been an apprentice to Leonhard Tiefenbrucker, who came from Tiefenbruck, and belonged to a large family of famous lute makers. From Hartung, Raphael Mest probably learnt to make lutes 'nach Italiänischer Façon' [after the Italian manner], meaning that the back of the lute was constructed with many, narrow ribs. We do not know how long Mest stayed with Hartung, but in accordance with the guild statutes, it ought to have been for about three years.

Raphael must have returned to Füssen no later than 1610, considering the maker's label in a lute, which earlier was kept in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland).8) In 1614 or 1615 Raphael Mest married Maria Endres (or Endras), and in 1616 he became a master and was accepted into the guild together with Michael Straub and Hans Fichtoldt.9) From 1614 Mest owned 'das Haus des Hellmer' [Hellmer's house], No. 34 (the present Franziskanergasse No. 9) at the 'Lautenmacherhof'. The house was owned by the Mest-family at least until 1803. 'Das Haus des Hellmer' had previously belonged to Magnus Hellmer, also a master of lute-making, but not to be confused with the earlier mentioned Mang Hellmer. Raphael Mest probably spent the rest of his life in Füssen and witnessed the ravages of the Swedes during the Thirty Years War. The Swedes occupied the town no less than three times. During their first visit, in June 1632, and under the command of Johan Banér, parts of the town, as well as the St. Mang monastery and the newly built Franciscan monastery were looted. The town had to pay 5,000 florins, or be set on fire. At the end of July the Swedes returned and bombarded the town. On 23 November 1646 the Swedes returned yet again, under the command of Carl Gustaf Wrangel and occupied the town. In spite of the fact that the inhabitants paid 6,000 florins this time, the town was looted, and the Swedes stayed for ten days. As a result of these depredations thirty percent of the houses in Füssen were destroyed, emptied or ruined. Two thirds of the population was killed, or fled. Raphael Mest belonged to the surviving one third . The last information about him dates from 1658, when together with three other masters he attested a letter of apprenticeship for Andreas Ott. The date of Mest's death is not known.10) He left at least one child, a son by the name of Ulrich, who was born on 14 January 1628. Ulrich's presence in Innsbruck in 1650 and in Rome in 1670 has been confirmed. A Michael Möst owned 'das Haus des Hellmer' between 1777 and 1803.

Raphael Mest's instruments

We know of six musical instruments made by Raphael Mest, three of which are preserved. This is of course only a fraction of his output and it is difficult to pass any judgement on his skills as a lute maker on this small basis. However, even if one does not consider the surviving instruments, other facts suggest that Raphael Mest was a skilled lute maker. His name was still known in the eighteenth century and a well informed and reliable person as Ernst Gottlieb Baron wrote in 1727:

Some of the lutes from Füssen are made much too much in the oldest fashion, namely round like an apple, and they are not worth much. However, Raphael Mest, who apprenticed with the famous Michael Hartung in Padua and lived 1650 and 1627, was one from Füssen who distinguished himself better than others.11)

Raphael Mest's known instruments, and facts concerning them, are as follows:

Lute with a printed label 'Raphael Mest in Fiessen, imperato del / Misier Michael Hartung in Padua me / fecit anno 1610'. The back of the lute has nine dark-stained ribs of beech, an angled pegbox and a separate pegbox for the two lowest courses. The fingerboard has fixed frets of bone. The lute has been rebuilt and repaired several times: in 1806 by Gottlieb Fichtel and in 1826 by Wilhelm Geitner, both from Breslau. The lute once belonged to Carl Maria von Weber, who was conductor at the opera in Breslau 1804-1806. The dimensions are the following in cm: total length (80.5) 53, the pegbox 29.5, the width 32 and depth 14. The lute was acquired 1869 by the Schlesisches Museum für Kunstgewerbe und Altertümer in Breslau and had the inventory number 5516. The lute disappeared during the Second World War. Although search has been made in Poland the instrument has not been found.12)

Lute with a printed label: 'Raphael Mest in Fiessen, Imperato / del Misier Michael Hartung in Pad- / dua fecit 1617'. The back of the lute consists of 33 ribs of yew and has somewhat been altered. The total length is 112 cm. It has been provided with a new belly (30.5 x 45.8 cm). The length of the fingerboard is 28.6 cm. Neck and pegboxes are not original. The string length is 64.5/91.5 cm. The lute is kept in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg (see Appendix!); its inventory number is MIR 900.13)

Lute with printed label: 'Raphael Mest / in Fiessen 1638'. Apollonia Dömling donated this lute to the Sammlungen des Historischen Vereins Würzburg on 2 October 1846. This collection was later incorporated in the Mainfränkisches Museum, Würzburg and the lute was given the inventory number H. 7822. It was destroyed during the fire in Würzburg on 16 March 1945. Further details about the instrument are lacking.14)

Viola d'amore with label: 'Raphael Mest in Fiessen 1643'. This is possibly the oldest preserved viola d'amore. It is in good condition and very neatly made. It is now kept in the Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck.15) According to information kindly provided by Erich Tremmel the attribution to Mest is dubious.

Lute, 'completely made of spruce and very nicely worked', was in the collection of R. Leibbrand in Berlin. No other information is available and the whereabouts of this instrument is not known.16)

A description of the Mest-lute in Linköping

When looking at the Mest lute in Linköping one is at once struck by the small size of the instrument. There is moreover a disparity between the body and the rest of the instrument: neck and pegboxes seem more clumsily made than the body. The lute is damaged: the belly has several cracks parallel with the grain of the wood and the back has fewer, but larger cracks. The edge between the belly and the back has been roughly treated. However, from a historical point of view these cracks are not important, but the lute is not playable in its present condition.17)

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Front view of the Mest-lute before 1984. Photographer unknown.

The body of the lute is rather rounded. It has the appearance of a compromise between the form favoured by the German lute makers (Tieffenbrucker, Hartung et al..) and that favoured by the 'younger' Italians (Matteo Sellas et al.).18) The depth of the body is 12.9 cm. The back of the lute consists of 23 ribs of yew, sawn from the dark heartwood and the light sapwood. This way of making use of the yew was popular among German lute makers and it gives a very attractive result from an artistic point of view. One may well understand why the yew was so sought after. There is no doubt that the back of the lute was made by a master. A double gut-string is tied between two small ivory buttons on the back. This system was commonly used and can be found on lutes in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and in the Music Museum, Stockholm. Willem van Mieris also depicts it in a painting. The reason for this arrangement is probably due to the fact that the lute, with its rounded back, can be difficult to hold. Holding the instrument is made easier with this tied gut-string and it could also be fixed to a button, which would be necessary if one played the lute standing.19)

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Side and back view of the Mest-lute before 1984. Photographer unknown.

On the inside of the back is a printed label: 'Raphael Mest in Fiessen, Imperato / del Misier Michael Hartung in Pa- / dua me fecit, Anno 1633'. The two last digits are written by hand: the last but one is changed from an originally printed '2'. The belly (length 36 cm and width 26.3 cm) is probably made of finely grained, quarter-sawn spruce. On the belly is written by hand: 'Tillhört Drottning Christina' [Belonged to Queen Christina]. This signature has the appearance of being in an eighteenth century hand. The binding between the belly and the back is made of ivory and some dark wood. The binding is partly damaged and in places completely lost. A triangular inlay is found behind the bridge, a so-called 'pique' or 'Spitze', and of the same material as the binding. The rose is beautifully carved with attractive leaf ornamentation, and around the rose is a decorative carved border. The inside of the belly has seven transverse bars arranged in way similar to other lutes from this period, a system based both on mystical interpretation of numbers and on the sound qualities one wanted to achieve. At the descant part of the bridge are two small, obliquely placed bars and under the rose three short bars are placed for strengthening purposes. The traditional division also determined the placement of the rose and the bridge. In essence the Mest lute follows the traditional methods of construction.20)

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Side and back view of the Mest-lute before 1984. Photographer unknown.

The bridge (length 19 cm) is similar to the binding in materials used and its appearance points to a date in the early seventeenth century. It is not symmetrical: it is thinner and lower at the descant part compared with the bass part. The bridge is placed obliquely to the centre-line of the belly. The maker of the bridge was undoubtedly a master and the bridge is probably original. Remains of very old gut strings are still attached to the bridge and probably in their original position. In total, ten pieces of gut strings are preserved. They are of three types: normally-twisted gut, high-twisted gut and gut, loosely over-spun with thin copper thread. The diameter on the plain gut strings varies from 0.40 mm to 0.94 mm and the over-spun strings from 0.75 mm to 0.92 mm. The over-spun strings can hardly date from before 1660 or after 1796. In 1664 John Playford wrote that

bass strings for viols and violins, or lutes, have recently been invented. They sound much better and stronger than the ordinary gut strings both using a bow or the fingers. They consist of a thin metal thread, which is twisted or winded around a string of gut or of silk'.21)

From the string remains it is possible to reconstruct the complete stringing of the Mest lute, which originally had a total of 23 strings, of which the highest was a single string and the rest double courses, that is to say a twelve-course lute.

The scale length is as follows:  50,0 cm (for the fretted strings), 54.2, 58.7 cm, 63.7 cm and 70.7 cm. These scale lengths are rather short. In a painting by Caspar Netscher a similar lute is depicted seemingly with a similar scale length.22) The neck (length 18.4 cm, width 7.7-9.6 cm) is attached to the body with the neck-block by, a 6 cm long hand-forged nail. This is a traditional mode of construction. The neck seems to be veneered with ebony and has inlays probably of ivory. The thickness of the neck varies from 1.9 cm at the pegbox and 2.8 cm at the body. The neck is not centred on the centre-line of the body, but is angled towards the bass-side. The fingerboard is made of ebony and glued to the neck. It is not in line with the belly, but is raised about 6 mm at the pegbox end. At the joint between fingerboard and belly there are the traditional points of ebony. The left point has been repaired with a different dark-brown wood. This indicates that some changes could have been made to the instrument: the neck may have been replaced and the lute fitted with a new neck and a new fingerboard.23) The fingerboard also has a distinct transverse joint. Further joints are found at the connection between the fingerboard and the pegbox for the bass courses as well as on the upper side of this pegbox, which is a continuation of the fingerboard. The fingerboard originally carried nine gut frets, but only one is remaining, probably the first nearest the saddle. The fret is double and the diameter of the string is 1.1 mm.

The two pegboxes are attached to the neck and the fingerboard. The 'first head' is intended for the eight highest courses (15 strings). Its length is 21.5 cm and it is bent back at a right angle to the fingerboard and is slightly S-shaped. It has a treble rider for the single first string. The saddle is missing. The other pegbox, ('upper long head', 'long head' or 'upper bass head') is intended for the four bass courses (eight strings) and it is 25 cm in length. The four separate saddles are missing. This pegbox is slightly bent and covered with a continuation of the fingerboard. At the joint with the fingerboard there is a small bulge, the function of which probably was that of a hook. Both pegboxes are in harmony with the neck in respect of workmanship. The backs of the pegboxes are veneered and with a repeated latticed fret-sawn pattern. Originally there were 23 pegs, but only 17 remain. The pegs are of three different types and it is uncertain which or any of these are contemporary with the pegboxes.

The double-headed lute – description and comparisons

The double-headed pegbox construction of the Mest lute can be found described both in the literature and can be seen in the art of the seventeenth century. However, the preserved instruments are very few and the music intended for the twelve-course lute is limited. Most of the facts indicate that this type of lute was transitional. According to the Burwell Lute Tutor (c. 1660) this type of construction of the pegboxes was invented by the French lutenist Jacques Gaultier. He worked in England from c. 1617 and was employed by James I and later by Charles I.24) A portrait of Jacques Gaultier is preserved, engraved after Jan Lievens 1630-1633, where Gaultier holds a double-headed lute.25)  In the Burwell Lute Tutor a little background is given:

English Gaultier hath been of another opinion and hath caused two heads to be made to the lute. All England hath accepted that augmentation, and France at first; but soon after that alteration hath been condemned by all the French masters, who are returned to their old fashion, keeping only the small eleventh'.26)

This construction was probably developed c. 1620-1630. During the first half of the seventeenth century the trend was to extend the bass-register of the lute by adding more bass strings, and this could be achieved by several different configurations of the instrument. Overspun strings had not yet been invented so twisted (or perhaps loaded) gut strings were used. Using the same string length for all courses of the lute caused problems: a short string length required very thick bass strings which resulted in an inferior sound. On the other hand with a much longer string length it was not possible to tune the highest courses to the desired pitch. One solution was to keep a short string length for the upper register and gradually increase the string length for the bass strings.27) The Italian lute makers (for example Matteo Sellas) introduced another solution, with the so called ‘liuto attiorbato', where the bass strings run to a separate pegbox and are all the same length, and this proved to be more popular, at least in Italy, than the double-headed lute, which was a rather short-lived northern European development.28)

According to the Burwell Lute Tutor the double-headed lute was not accepted for long in France and furthermore the author argues against the views of 'English' Gaultier, who supposedly held that the length of the strings on the double-headed lute produces a longer and bigger sound:

all the strings ought to have the same length of sound, and the sound of a string must make room for the other; for besides the confusion that the length of sounds produce, it also causeth a discord (since every bass cannot make a concord with every small string). And this is the first reason. The second evil effect that condemneth this alternation is that the sound of these long strings is not good, and that sound is like that of one that sings in the nose. The third inconvenience is that one cannot stop upon them long basses. The fourth reason [is] that there is no symmetry in proportion in the two heads, and a lute so framed is not a lute but a bastard instrument between a lute and a theorbo. The fifth reason is that so many strings do exceed the breadth of the neck of the lute and the reach of the right hand; the lute is an instrument hard enough and needs not new difficulties.29)

Be all that as it may, the double-headed twelve-course lute had gained a foothold in England. In 1652 Richard Mathew published his The Lute's Apology, with music for the twelve-course lute. Mathew called his book 'the first published for the French Lute'.30) It seems that this type of lute was closely associated with the new tunings or 'accords nouveaux' and was 'à la mode' in England for some time. Mathew's The Lute's apology employed the ‘Flat French tuning'.31) The surviving repertoire for this type of lute is not very extensive, however: seven manuscript sources and three printed works mainly consisting of continuo parts. These cover the period c. 1630-1680 and most of them are of English origin.32) In a very interesting article on continuo lutes in England, Lynda Sayce argues that the twelve-course lute was synonymous with the 'theorbo', at least in mid-seventeenth-century England. Robert Spencer, on the other hand, does not equate the twelve-course lute with the terms 'theorbo' or 'theorbo-lute'.33) The present author would like to suggest that a close examination of the sources favours Spencer's opinion.

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French tablature for the twelve-course lute. Fol. 1 from Lautenbuch der Virginia Renata von Gehema.Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz Mus. Ms. 40264,

Thomas Mace, in his Musick's Monument, gives a detailed description of the construction, handling and playing technique of the lute. Describing the pegbox design, he says:

The next things you are to view are the Two Heads, the one Turned back, which must carry 16 Strings, (accounting the Treble Peg double) and the Upright Head must carry 8; all which make a 24-Strung-Lute... The more neat Those Heads are wrought, the more Commendable; Yet they adde nothing to the Sound, but it is the Back and Belly, which Principally give the Sound; and we use to say, the Belly is the Chief producer thereof.34)

This might indicate that the twelve-course double-headed lute was the common type of lute in Mace's time. It is clear from Mace's tablature that almost all his musical examples are intended for the twelve-course instrument. Mace draws a distinction between English and French lutes. Both types are depicted, joined together, in his peculiar construction the 'Lute Dyphone, and their pegboxes differ.35)

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In his description of the 'Lute Dyphone' the double-headed part of this strange creation is called 'The French-Lute-Part' and the other 'The Theorboe-Part'. He continues: 'It Carries Completely 50 Strings, viz, 26 upon the Theorboe-Part, and 24 upon the French-Lute-Part.'36)  Later he writes:

The Theorboe, is no other, than That which we call'd the Old English Lute; and is an Instrument of so much Excellency, and Worth, and of so Great Good Use, That in dispite of all Fickleness, and Novelty, It is still made use of, in the Best Performances in Musick, (Namely Vocal Musick.)

But because, I said It was the Old English Lute, It may be ask'd, Why is It not then still so Call'd; but by the Name of the Theorboe?

I Answer, That although It be the Old English Lute, yet as to the Use of It Generally, there is This Difference, viz. The Old Lute was Chiefly us'd, as we now use our French Lutes, (so call'd;) that is, only to Play Lone-Lessons upon, &c. But the Theorboe-Lute is Principally us'd in Playing to the Voice, or in Consort; It being a Lute of the Largest Size; and we make it much more large in Sound, by contriving unto It a Long Head, to Augment and Increase that Sound, and Fulness of the Basses, or Diapasons, which are a great Ornament to the Voice, or Consort.37)

Like Mathew, Mace accordingly designates the twelve-course double-headed instrument as the ‘French lute'.

The double-headed lute is also described in the document known as James Talbot's Manuscript (c. 1700), which, very helpfully, contains numerous measurements. Unlike Mathew and Mace, Talbot denotes this type of lute as the ‘English (or two-headed) lute'. With the ‘French lute', Talbot uses the term ‘French lute' to means the eleven-course lute which we commonly associate with the French lute music of the mid seventeenth century. Talbot gives a short description of the double-headed lute:


It has 4 small Nutts bearing off obliquely (as Theorboe) which carry each two single strings viz 1 bass and its octave string. Ag.

The great Nutt on the neck carryes 7 double ranks of treble one single treble in all Ranks 8 Strings 15. Ag.

Whole number of trebles and Bass Strings = 23. Ag.

The 8 Basses have their upper head lying straight as the Theorboe: the 15 Trebles have the [lower] head bearing back as the French Lute of which this seems to be an improvement. Ag.Tuning the same with Fr Lute except 1 string lower viz AA. Basses better by different length on Nutts: it carryes one double rank of Basses below the Fr Lute viz AA. Then CC etc as the Fr Lute. Thus this Lute has 12 ranks whereof all but the last two are double = 22 Strings. Crevecoeur.

9 Fretts.'38)

As can be seen this description fits the Mest lute in Linköping very well as regards the construction of the two pegboxes, the stringing and number of frets.

To judge from seventeenth century Dutch genre painting the double-headed lute seems to have been very popular during that century. However, it is dangerous to make sweeping statements from iconographical evidence and one has to be very careful in one's conclusions. That this type of lute was a favourite motif does not necessarily mean that it also was a favourite instrument. Genre painting contains many stereotypes and copying from pre-existing models was not uncommon. However there is a remarkable consistency in the stringing of the lutes in the different pictures even where other details on the instruments may vary a great deal.39) The earliest pictures of the double-headed lute date from the beginning of the 1630s (for example in works by Jan Lievens 1630-1633 and Pieter Codde 1633). In pictures, this type of lute is commonly seen in the hands of women, in an aristocratic setting. Usually the double-headed lutes in pictures have a narrower and longer body than the Mest lute in Linköping. They also have better proportions between the neck and pegbox and the body. That said, however, the lutes in some paintings by Caspar Netscher correspond closely to the Mest lute.40)

Besides the Mest lute in Linköping only six (now seven, see Appendix) double-headed lutes of this type are preserved, as follows:

Lute with a label: 'Mangnus Hellmer Zue / fiessen… 16 …. Jar', held in Büdingen, in the Schloßmuseum, inventory number 1371)41)

Lute with a label: '1596 // Jonas Stehelin in Argen[tum] Johann Adolph Böningk // in Böbsingen hab die lauthe // renoviret. Den 12 decembr: // Anno 1664', held in the Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Leipzig inventory number 494. The string lengths are 75.2 and79.5, 83.8, 89.9 and 97.0 cm.

Lute with a label: 'Johannes Rehm in Fuessen // me fecit Anno 1607.' It was repaired by Matthias Hummel in 1701 and Sebastian Schelle in 1721 and is now held in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, inventory number MIR905. Only the back of this lute is original. It has a new neck and belly, probably added in the 1930s or 1940s. The string lengths are 68 cm and 73, 78, 83 and 90 cm.42)

Lute with a label: 'In Padova Vendelio Venere 1603' held in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, inventory number Kg 67: 106, formerly M. I. 30). It has twelve courses. 1 x 1, 7 x 2 and 4 x 2. A broken but seemingly genuine twelve-course double-headed lute conversion. The rose design is a shield with three lilies. The string-lengths are 67 and 72 cm (this single longer string length instead of stepped nuts like the Mest lute is a bodged response to the broken upper pegbox). The fingerboard length is 27.5 cm, the soundboard has the size 33 x 48 cm. The back is made of yew, heartwood with light strips between.43)

Anonymous lute with twelve courses: 1 x 1, 6 x 2 and 5 x 2. The string length is 62.5 cm. The back has nine ribs of figured sycamore. The beautiful body with dark reddish-brown varnish, could be a sixteenth century original, with a simple but original looking rose. The rest is a poor attempt to recreate a double-headed lute but with only a single string length. The neck and fingerboard are of one piece. This lute is held in Tokyo, Ueno Gakuen College, inventory number 28.44)

Lute with a label: 'Giorgio B..icart In Fioren' held in the Musikinstrumenten-Museum Preussischer Kulturbesitz, catalogue number 4666. It was purchased by the museum in 1960. It has all the characteristics one would expect in a twelve-course lute, as seen in countless numbers of paintings, except in one respect, which is that the pegs on the extension oppose each other. The pegs may have been reversed, but there does not seem to be enough space for this to have been done. It looks as though it was made in this form. The Museum describes it as having a seventeenth-century body. It is in poor condition. The rich collection in the Berlin museum before World War 2 has disappeared completely, but the museum was able to purchase some instruments of value (a chitarrone by Koch, a baroque lute by Tielke and Hoffmann, ans so on) and several items from the Harlan workshops in Markneukirchen. Harlan rebuilt many original instruments into the then assumed 'original' state; that is adding new necks, and occasionally new barring. This lute belongs in that category. It has an old body, but neck and pegbox have been replaced. One may doubt very much whether it ever was a twelve-course instrument. Today it is on public show on the second floor of the museum.45)

Comparing these lutes, the Rehm and Stehelin lutes have a longer string length and larger body than the other two. The Rehm and Stehelin lutes have been repaired and probably also changed. The string length of the Hellmer lute corresponds well with the measurements given in the Talbot manuscript. The string length of the Mest lute is nearly 10 cm less and the Mest lute is also smaller, considering the total length, the length of the neck and the body, the diameter of the rose as well as the 'upper bass head'. On the other hand the body of the Mest lute is wider than the measurements in the Talbot manuscript, which in its turn is more in accordance with the depicted lutes in paintings.46) On the basis of the very limited number of preserved instruments it is indeed difficult, not to say impossible, to find an authoritative 'model' for the double-headed lute and consequently we cannot say whether the Mest lute is typical or not. It seems that the Mest lute appears to be relatively small, particularly in regard of its string length. However, as Ephraim Segerman has argued in a recent article, some evidence suggests that 'the English twelve-course lute usually was a treble instrument with a string stop of about 50 cm', like the Mest lute.47)

Due to the fact that so few double-headed lutes have been preserved each surviving instrument is of course of great interest, but one always has to consider whether the instrument is in its original condition or has been changed. Many lutes that are kept in museums and collections have been modified and in many cases this is a normal development of musical instruments that are used over a long period of time, and through different periods of musical taste. The Rehm and Stehelin lutes mentioned above are good examples of such changes.48) These changes can sometimes be difficult to discern if they have been skilfully made. The Mest lute shows obvious signs of changes in the joint at the fingerboard, but particularly concerning the attachment of the fingerboard to the belly. However, these traces give no clue as to how extensive changes in general have been. At one extreme both neck and pegboxes could have been replaced and at the other extreme only a minor repair may have been carried out. If there had been a modification in the stringing of the lute, the bridge ought have been changed or replaced, but nothing points to that. The dating of the instrument on the maker's label to '1633' is early, but possible. As already stated there is an imbalance in the proportions between the body and the neck/peg-boxes. This is also true of the quality of the work carried out on the instrument. The neck and pegboxes seem to be of an inferior quality when compared with the body. The quality of Mest's viola d'amore shows that he was a very skilled craftsman with immaculate taste. My guess is that the neck and pegboxes of the Mest lute are later seventeenth-century additions.

The dean Lars Kraft and Queen Christina's lute

In the book of donations at the Diocesan Library in Linköping the following is noted for 1796 concerning the Mest lute:

Häradsprosten Lars Kraft i Norra Vi. 1 st luta, som varit drottning Christina tillhörig och af henne nyttjad… [The dean in Norra Vi, Lars Kraft, one lute, which has belonged to Queen Christina and has been used by her].49)

Lars Kraft (1730-1797) was dean in Norra Vi, in the deanery of Ydre and in the Linköping diocese. We have no information about the circumstances under which the lute came into the possession of Lars Kraft. Had he inherited it from his parents such a curiosity certainly would have been noted in their estate inventories. No such information is found in the estate inventory after his father, dated 1768.50) Lars Kraft's wife was daughter to the vicar of Horn, Anders Schörling (1690-1769), but his estate inventory seems to be lost. However, Anders Schörling is a rather interesting person as he had a documented interest in music. He studied in Uppsala from 1712, became 'director musices & cantus' in Linköping in 1722, librarian and upper secondary school teacher in 1723 and finally vicar of Horn in 1734. At the inauguration of the new church in Horn in 1754 it is recorded that 'instrumental-musique uppfördes' [instrumental music was performed]. Furthermore 'continuerades glädjen med skott, musique och dants hela natten' [that the joy continued with gunfiring, music and dance all the night] at the following dinner at Åby manor. It is of some interest also that Schörling's father, with the same Christian name, was 'sub-cantor scholae' in Linköping in 1686 and later assistant vicar in Skärkind.51)  In itself it is not necessary to search for a musical person to find a connection to the Mest lute: the attribution to Queen Christina meant that the lute was also considered important in other respects. As a clergyman Lars Kraft certainly knew many people and could have been contacted about this curiosity, the Mest lute. This could explain how he came by it and the provenance is therefore very uncertain. Like many of his contemporaries, he was probably interested in curiosities himself too. He may have received it as a gift, or bought it.

How and when the Mest lute come to Sweden must be a matter of speculation. During the seventeenth century Sweden had many contacts with Germany, both during the Thirty Years War but also from a commercial point of view. The great-grandfather of Lars Kraft arrived from Germany and served as comptroller of the accounts at Odensviholm in the county of Kalmar. A connection between him and the lute making family Kraft in Füssen-Faulenbach can not be proven.52) Considering the ravages of the Swedes in Füssen 1646 it is also possible that the lute was taken as booty. As the lute was a much appreciated and very popular instrument during the seventeenth century, a number of lutes must have been in use in Sweden at this period and many sources indicate this. In 1637, sixty batches of lute-strings and three lutes were imported to Stockholm. In 1652 an inventory was made of the residence of the Count Palatine Casimir at Stegeborg and four lutes were listed, 'de tre med foder' [three of which with cases].53) Axel Lillie (1603-1662) at Löfstad played the lute and wrote the following in a letter to his brother-in-law Carl Mörner:

K[äre] B[ror] efter att jag inte synnerligt har till att giöra så giör well och sänt mig några groffua lute stränga till ett par eller 8 ifrån de grouffuaste och så till de grannesta, effter jag inte har till att giöra om affton, och om du ville låta aff säta vargemascum [bergamasco] och några andra stöcken, som lätte äro. K.B. sänt mig de stränga, att jag kan bedra hela luta, för hon har inga stränga, allenas jag har själff några cnutar, dem behöffer jag inte. [Dear brother, as I have nothing to do could you please send me some thick lute-strings to a pair or 8 from the thickest to the thinnest as I have nothing to do in he evening, and if you would write down the bergamasco and some other easy pieces. Dear brother, send these strings to me so I can put strings on the lute completely, because the lute has no strings at all. I have some knots (gut for frets?) myself, so I am in no need for those].54)

Nothing contradicts the possibility that the Mest lute arrived in Sweden as early as the seventeenth century.

Finally, the lute is said to have belonged to Queen Christina and has been 'af henne nyttjad' [used by her]. However, Kraft does not provide any information, which could confirm this. There are many objects in the Chamber of Curiosities, which are attributed to this or that famous person, but in some cases you can easily refute the attribution from dates or on other grounds.55) The dating of the Mest lute does not contradict the possibility that it could have belonged to Queen Christina. She was seven years old in 1633, when the lute was made, and it is a small instrument, almost suitable for a child or a small adult. We have so far no reason to distrust the dating on the label of the instrument. Queen Christina's interest in music is well documented, though there are doubts as to whether she played an instrument or not. One source could be interpreted in favour of that suggestion, though it could also be interpreted in other ways. Concerning Queen Christina's contact with the English ambassador Bulstrode Whitelocke, who himself was interested in music, it is recorded that 'her Majesty would often come to Wh[itelocke] and discourse with him of her musicke, whereof he was able to make some judgement, which the Queen found and liked well'.56) This could also be interpreted as meaning that Whitelocke 'made some judgement' concerning her musicians. There is a doubtful portrait of Queen Christina by an anonymous artist, which shows the Queen with a 'tiorba' or 'chitarrone' in her arms.57)

mest5.jpg (66022 bytes)

A portrait of Queen Christina (?). Unknown painter. Photography: Svenska porträttarkivet, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

The table on her right is covered with attributes of wealth, belles-lettres and learning. The lute is rather clumsily drawn, but an interesting detail is the back, which is made in the same way and probably using the same type of wood as used on the Mest lute. However, this picture is no evidence of Queen Christina's lute playing and the lute may only be used to represent her interest in music. Another painting, which is of interest in this connection as it has been thought to depict Queen Christina, is in The National Gallery of Ireland.58) The inventory number is NGI Inv. no. 150. This painting is of an unknown sitter and it is signed 'Mytens pincxit 1648'. The artist probably is Jan Mijtens (Mytens) (c. 1614-1670) The painting was exhibited in 1882 as a 'Portrait of the Countess of Derby' and sold in 1889 as 'Charlotte de la Tremouille, Countess of Derby Playing the Guitar', but there is apparently no evidence to support this identification. The sitter is holding a double-headed lute, apparently of rosewood with wide boxwood spacers between the ribs. There is an end button on the end-clasp but it is not being used with a strap. There appears to be a lace of vellum round the edge of the soundboard in the seventeenth-century fashion, but no 'points' at the end of the fingerboard, or very, very shallow ones if there are. The number of pegs does not correspond to the number of strings shown. Something in the way the sitter is holding the instrument suggests that she was not a player. It is quite clear that the lute on the painting is not identical with the Mest lute in Linköping. The back of the Mest lute is made of heart or sap yew, while the lute on the painting probably is made of rosewood.59)

MYTENS12.jpg (75143 bytes)

A painting by Jan Mijtens (Mytens) (c. 1614-1670) dated 1648. The National Gallery of Ireland NGI Inv. no. 150. Photographer unknown.

There is no evidence to suggest that this is a portrait of Queen Christina. It seems more likely that the painting shows a young Dutch lady, perhaps the young lady on the left on the painting by Jan Mijtens of the family Willem van den Kerckhoven, dated 1652 and 1655, and housed in the Haags Historisch Museum. If indeed she played, Queen Christina's ancestry and environment could have inspired her possible lute playing. Several of her ancestors played the instrument or had lutenists employed at their courts. Her father, Gustav II Adolf, was a good lute player and about her mother, Maria Eleonora it was said that she 'vortrefflich die Laute spielte' [played the lute excellently]. Even the leader of her regency, Axel Oxenstierna, played the lute in his youth, and there are many examples of young noblemen who were instructed on the lute. One hour of lute playing between one and two o' clock each day was part of the course of study for the young Count Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie.60) Instruction in lute playing at the courts was probably given by the lutenists employed there. During the 1630s lutenists engaged at the Swedish court were Giouan Battista Veraldi (1622-1631), Zacharias Krause (1621-1638), Frantz Behr (1635-1638) and Gottschalk Behr (1641-1643). The last mentioned received noticeably high payment, which perhaps may indicate that he had other tasks outside the range of the normal duties of the lutenist. However, it cannot be established whether Behr or any other of the lutenists gave instruction to Christina or any one else at the court.61) Thus, the information provided by Lars Kraft about the connection between the Mest lute and Queen Christina can neither be confirmed nor refuted. At all event, the suggestion that the Mest lute had belonged to Queen Christina may be the only reason why this interesting instrument has been preserved in the Chamber of Curiosities in the Diocesan and Regional Library of Linköping.

This article was first published (in Swedish) in ‘Linköpings biblioteks handlingar'. Ny Serie. Band 10 (Linköping, 1984) pp. 5-23. This English version (published in The Lute Vol, XXXVIII (1998) pp. 1-28) has been updated with new information. Information how to acquire this journal and how to become a member of the Lute Society can be had from Christopher Goodwin. I'm grateful to David van Edwards and Christopher Goodwin, who kindly read through and corrected my English text, as well as making some valuable suggestions. Acknowledgements to others who have contributed information are given below.


After the completion and publishing of this article David van Edwards has found new information which is relevant for this study. The lute by Raphael Mest in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum MIR 900, described above is now on loan in the Stadtmuseum Füssen. Here is a picture of it:

mest.JPG (58127 bytes)

Lute with a printed label: ‘Raphael Mest in Fiessen, Imperato / del Misier Michael Hartung in Pad- / dua fecit 1617'. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, with the inventory number MIR 900. Photography: David van Edwards.

The other lute is thus described by David van Edwards: 'It is by Wolfgang Wolff, Fuessen 16th century. Converted to 12 course in 1646, according to the museum label, but how this is known is not made clear. String lengths [estimated through the glass] are 62cm for the fingered strings and 68, 73, 78.5, 86 cm for the successive lower strings. 15 sycamore ribs with 1.5mm white wood strips between. Widhalm style bridge with ebony points. Both pegboxes have fretted backs to them, as does the Mest 12 course lute.' Interestingly enough this lute also has its case preserved. According to information kindly supplied by Erich Tremmel 'the instrument as it is now was preserved within a 17th-century case made exactly to fit with the present two-headed neck. The inside of the case was clad with 17th-century prints for decoration (coppers rather than woodcuts) and at least one of these was dated 1646, giving this as a Datum post quem'

Twelve-course lute by Wolfgang Wolff, Füssen 16th century. Photography: David van Edwards.

This Wolfgang Wolf is probably Raphael Mest's grandfather on his mother's side. Wolfgang Wolf died in 1591 and probably only the body of the lute is original. The double-headed pegbox construction must have been completed after that date.

A third lute (or at least a phragment of one) has recently been rediscovered in the Birmingham Conservatoire's Historical Instrument Collection. This phragment consists of a lute-back previously thought to be by Hartung. According to the Early Music Co-ordinator & Instrument Custodian Martin Perkins this probably is a phragment of a lute by Raphael Mest dating from 1627. This date is interesting as it is one of the two mentioned by Baron.

Labels from and interior of lute in the Birmingham Conservatoire's Historical Instrument Collection. Photo: Martin Perkins, Birmingham Conservatoire.

To this may be added that this phragment has other (repair?) labels attached to it: Antonius Bachmann, 1753; T A Matth[?], 1822; Rogers and Priestley, Birmingham, 1891; Ronald Taylor, 1981. Martin Perkins is working on a catalogue of the instrument collection in the Birminghamn Conservatoire, which will include high-res photos and technical measurements of all items. This will all be available on a web-site at the end of the project (September 2008). I'm most grateful to Martin Perkins who kindly supplied me with this information in December 2007.

To Lynda Sayce's list of lute tablature books for the twelve-course lute another six can be added. Here is the complete list:

Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz Mus. Ms. 40264, Lautenbuch der Virginia Renata von Gehema.

Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland Panmure, No. 4 and No. 8 (I'm grateful to Are Vidar Boye Hansen for this information).

Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Dep. 314/23, The Songbook of Lady Margaret Wemyss, a manuscript containing two pieces for this instrument.

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Mus B1, John Wilson, a manuscript  containing 30 solos and 226 songs, 38 of which have tablature accompaniments.

London, British Library, Add. Ms. 38,539, The ML Lute Book

London, British Library, Ms. Egerton 2013.

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Don C.57

Tabley House, Knutsford in Cheshire. The Tabley House Lute Book, a manuscript containing 69 solos for twelve-course lute.

Reusner, Esaias, Neue Lauten-Früchte 1676. In the mannuscript additions in the copy now housed at Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin ( 18380) are pieces for a 12-course lute.63

St. Petersburg, Library of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Manuscript. O no. 124.63

Some lutemakers now make copies of the Raphael Mest lute in Linköping. One example is David van Edwards. Information about his copy you can find here.

If you have any further information about Raphael Mest or the twelve-course lute please write to me

© Kenneth Sparr

and I will include it in this appendix.


1 The lute of Mest was first mentioned in Svenska dagbladet, landsortsupplagan 13 April 1917, where it is described as 'a viola d'amore, signed by Michael Hartung in Padua 1633'. Correct, but short information is to be found in C.M. Stenbock, Strövtåg i Linköpings stiftsbibliotek, (Linköping, 1918), p. 29. Daniel Fryklund corrects the information given in Svenska dagbladet above in his article 'Bidrag till kännedom om Viola d'amore', in Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 3 (1921) p. 13. Information on the lute can also be found in W.L. von Lütgendorff, Die Geigen- und Lautenmacher…, 2 (Frankfurt am Main, 1922) p. 333, but with a wrong date: 1767. J. Zuth, Handbuch der Laute und Gitarre, (Wien, 1926-1928), p. 194, quotes Lütgendorff, but questions the dating to 1767. D. Fryklund, 'Bidrag till gitarristiken', Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning 13 (1931), p. 47f. gives additional information to Zuth. Amore detailed description is found in S. Wallin, Kuriositetskabinettet i Linsköpings stifts- och landsbibliotek, (Linköping, 1958), p. 88 and picture 180. R. Vannes, Dictionnaire universel des luthiers, 2, (Bruxelles, 1959), p. 37, gives short information but writes 'la Bibliothèque de Lücköping'. The lute is also mentioned in Christina. Drottning av Sverige, 2. Rev. Ed. (Stockholm, 1966), p. 603. More recent information about this particular lute is found in O. Vang & E. Segerman, 'Twoheaded lute news', Fellowship of Makers and Restorers of Historical Instruments. Quarterly, No. 10, p. 31-38; in A. Layer, Die Allgäuer Lauten- und Geigenmacher, (Augsburg, 1978), p. 159; in F. Hellwig, 'The morphology of lutes with extended bass strings, Early Music, 9 (1981), p. 448 and E. Pohlmann, Laute-Theorbe-Chitarrone, 5th Rev. Ed. (Bremen, 1982), p. 421. The lute is also treated and depicted in Lutor och lutspel i två målningar av Ferdinand Bol och Michael Dahl Musiken i konsten - Det klingande 1600-talet. En konstbok från Nationalmuseum redigerad av Karin Sidén. Nationalmusei årsbok 47, Stockholm 2001 pp. 59-89]

2 I'm grateful to Eva Ringborg at the County Museum who made me aware of the picture of the Mest-lute when it was saved during the fire.

3 The following information comes from Layer, op.cit.; R. Bletschacher, Die Lauten- und Geigenmacher des Füssener Landes, (Hofheim am Taunus, 1978); A. Layer, 'Die Füssener Lautenmacherzunft', Unbekanntes Bayern. Entdeckungen und Wanderungen, (München, 1955), pp. 45ff.; and A. Layer, 'Die Anfänge der Lautenbaukunst in Schwaben', Die Musikforschung 9 (1956) pp. 190ff.

4 The guild statutes of 1562 are reproduced in facsimile and in plain text in Bletschacher, op. cit. P. 231. An English translation is given in the Journal of the Lute Society of America 13 (1980), p. 87ff. As to the rest the description is based mainly on A. Layer, Die Allgäuer Lauten- und Geigenmacher, op. cit.

5 Information kindly supplied by David van Edwards.

6 Layer, Die Allgäuer op. cit. p. 159. Bletschacher op. cit. gives c. 1580. All other biographical information on Raphael Mest is taken from these sources.

7 Layer, Die Allgäuer op. cit. p. 159 gives no date for the marriage but says that Jakob Möst became burgher on 15 May 1571.

8 Schlesisches Museum für Kunstgewerbe und Altertümer. Führer und Katalog zur Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, herausgegeben von Peter Epstein und Ernst Schreyer. (Breslau, 1932), p. 36.

9 Bletschacher op. cit. p. 201 says that the marriage took place in 1614 with Maria Endres, while Layer, Die Allgäuer Lauten- und Geigenmacher op. cit. p. 159 says in 1615 and with Maria Endras.

10 Layer, Die Allgäuer Lauten- und Geigenmacher op. cit. p. 159 says that Mest died on 28 September 1645 in Kaufering bei Landsberg, but this information is contradicted by Layer himself on pp. 124, 128 and 137.

11 Ernst Gottlieb Baron. Historisch-Theoretisch und Praktische Untersuchung des Instruments der Lauten…. (Nürnberg, 1727) p. 93. Citation from Ernst Gottlieb Baron, Study of the Lute. Translated by Douglas Alton Smith. (Redondo Beach, 1976), p. 81.

12 Schlesisches Museum… op. cit. p. 36

13 Friedemann Hellwig, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, kindly supplied this information. See also Friedemann Hellwig, 'Die Lauteninstrumente im Germanischen Nationalmuseum Nürnberg', Gitarre & Laute (1979), No. 6, p. 9ff. According to Ernst Pohlmann, Laute – Theorbe – Chitarrone p. 360 the date is 1617.

14 Willibald Leo von Lütgendorff, Die Geigen- und Lautenmacher…, 2, 2nd edition (Frankfurt am Main, 1913), p. 560. Here you also can find a reproduction of the label. C. Heffner, Die Sammlungen des Historischen Vereins für Unterfranken und Aschaffenburg zu Würzburg, (Würzburg, 1875), p. 141. Dr. Hans-Peter Trenschel, Mainfränkisches Museum, Würzburg have also kindly supplied information.

15 Veröffentlichungen des Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum 49 (1969), p. 139. The instrument is also depicted in Bletschacher op. cit. p. 138.

16 Lütgendorff, Die Geigen- und Lautenmacher… op.cit. p. 560. Layer, Die Allgäuer Lauten und Geigenmacher op. cit. p. 159.

17 Gunnar Lorentzon has made a drawing of the lute in 1980 and 1981. Radiographs of the instrument are kept at the Diocesan and Regional Library, Linköping.

18 Friedemann Hellwig, 'Lute Construction in the Renaissance and the Baroque, Galpin Society Journal 27 (1974), p. 23.

19 Robert Spencer, 'How to hold a lute: historical evidence from paintings', Early Music 3(1975), p. 353ff.

20 Friedemann Hellwig, 'On the Construction of the Lute Belly', Galpin Society Journal 21 (1968), pp. 129ff. Kurt Rottman, 'Historical Lute bellies from the Standpoint of Modern Statics and Acoustics', Galpin Society Journal 26 (1973), p. 25.

21 Djilda Abbott & Ephraim Segerman, 'Catline Strings', Fellowship of Makers and Restorers of Historical Instruments. Quarterly, No. 12 (July, 1978) p. 28

22 Djilda Abbott & Ephraim Segerman, 'The Names, String Lengths and Pitch Standards of Extended-neck Lutes of the 17th Century', Fellowship of Makers and Restorers of Historical Instruments. Bulletins and Communications, No. (April, 1977) p. 29.

23 Cf. The discussion in Peter Päffgen, Laute und Lautenspiel in der ersten Hälfte des 16. Jahrhunderts, (Regensburg, 1978), pp. 20ff.

24 In a lecture at the colloquium 'Les Luths en Occident', in 13-16 May 1998 in Paris it was suggested by Robert Lundberg that the two-headed lute with the second head stepped, as seen in the famous engraving of English Gaultier would seem, on the basis of iconographical evidence, to have been more typical of the Netherlands than of France or England.

25 Lionel de Laurencie, 'Le luthiste Jacques Gaultier', La Revue Musical 5(1924), pp. 32ff. See also Robert Spencer, 'Chitarrone, Theorbo and Archlute', Early Music 4(1976), p. 419.

26 The Burwell Lute Tutor with an introductory study by Robert Spencer, (Leeds, 1974) fol. 68. Transcribed by Thurston Dart in 'Miss Mary Burwell's Instruction Book for the Lute', Galpin Society Journal XI (1958), pp. 3-62. Quoted by Robert Spencer, 'Chitarrone, Theorbo and Archlute', op. cit. p. 418.

27 William B. Samson, 'The Twelve-course English Lute', Lute Society Journal 19 (1977), p, 51f. Michael Lowe, 'The historical Development of the Lute in the 17th Century', Galpin Society Journal 29(1976), p. 16.

28 Robert Spencer, 'Chitarrone, Theorbo and Archlute', op. cit. p. 414f. Friedemann Hellwig, The Morphology of Lutes with Extended Bass Strings op. cit. p. 449.

29 The Burwell Lute Tutor op. cit. fol. 68. Dart op. cit. p. 59.

30 Adrienne Simpson, 'Richard Mathew and the Lute's Apology', Lute Society Journal 8(1966), p. 41.

31 Lynda Sayce, 'Continuo lutes in 17th and 18th-century England', Early Music XXII, No. 4 (1995) p. 667ff.

32 Sayce op.cit. p. 671 gives a description of these manuscripts.

33 Spencer, op. cit. Sayce op.cit. p. 675.

34 Thomas Mace, Musick's Monument… (London, 1676), p. 50.

35 Mace, op. cit. p. 32.

36 Mace, op. cit. p. 205

37 Mace, op. cit. p. 207

38 Michael Prynne, 'James Talbot's Manuscript… IV. Plucked Strings – The Lute Family', Galpin Society Journal 14 (1961). p. 56ff.

39 Sayce, op. cit. p. 669f.

40 Abbott & Segerman, The names, string lengths… op. cit. p. 29. S J Gudlaugsson, Geraert Ter Borch, (Den Haag 1959), pp. 242, 285, 287, 296, 352, 364, 393 and 394. See also painting by Eglon Hendryck van der Neer, Franz van Mieris, Jan van der Hoeke, Hendrik Martensz Sorgh, Willem Mieris, Ferdinand Bol, David Terniers the younger, Caspar Netscher etc. Some of these paintings are depicted in Hermann Sommer, Die Laute in ihrer musikgeschichtlichen, kultur- und kunsthistorische Bedeutung (Berlin, 1920).

41 I'm grateful to David van Edwards who supplied me with more information about this instrument.

42 A photograph of the Rehm-lute can be found in Konrad Ragossnig, Handbuch der Gitarre und Laute, (Mainz, 1978), p. 175. Hellwig, Die Lauteninstrumente…, op. cit., p. 9.

43 Musikinstrumente aus dem Hessischen Landesmuseum, 16.-19. Jahrhundert; Ausstellung 26. 6. - 31. 8. 1980. Wolfgang Beeh, ed. Darmstadt [Kumpf, 1980], p. 25. No. 19. I'm grateful to Peter Kiraly, David van Edwards and Lynda Sayce for providing information about this lute.

44 I'm grateful to David van Edwards and Lynda Sayce who provided information on this lute.

45 I'm grateful to Martin Haycock and Annette Otterstedt at the Musikinstrumenten-Museum Preussischer Kulturbesitz for providing information about this lute.

46 Pohlmann op. cit. pp. 364 and 375. Prynne op. cit. p. 55ff. Hellwig, 'The morphology…' op. cit. p. 448. Michael Saffle, 'Lutes and Related Instruments in Eight Important European and American Collections', Journal of the Lute Society of America 8(1975), p. 28f. Hellwig, 'Die Lauteninstrumente…' op. cit. p. 9.

47 Ephraim Segerman, 'The size of the English 12-course lute', Fellowship of Makers and Restorers of Historical Instruments. Quarterly, No. 92 (July, 1998) p. 31f.

48 Michael Prynne, 'Remarks on Old Lutes', Lute Society Journal I(1959), p. 19ff.

49 Donationsbok begynd 1784. The archive of the Diocesan and Regional Library in Linköping.

50 Bouppteckning efter Lars Kraft. Sevede häradsrätt vol F 3 p. 1089ff. Landsarkivet (Regional Archives) in Vadstena.

51 The biographical information is mainly collected from Linköpings stifts herdaminne, 3-4 (Linköping, 1919-1933), but also the manuscript B140 in the Diocesan and Regional Library in Linköping.

52 Layer, Die Allgäuer… op. cit. p. 153f.

53 Rikskanslern Axel Oxenstiernas skrifter och brefvexling, 11:2 (Stockholm, 1905), p. 696. William Karlsson, Ståt och vardag i stormaktstidens herremanshem, (Lund, 1945), p. 333.

54 Erland Nordenfalk, Museet Löfstads slott, (Stockholm, 1967), p. 17.

55 See the discussion in Wallin, op. cit. p. 19ff.

56 Carl-Allan Moberg, 'Christina och musiken', in Christina op. cit. p. 67.

57 Svenska porträttarkivet 1922:257.

58 I'm very grateful to Eva Ringborg at the County Museum of Östergötland who made me aware of the existence of this painting-

59 I'm most grateful to David van Edwards who has supplied me with the picture and much useful additional information.

60 Bengt Kyhlberg, Musiken i Uppsala under stormaktstiden 1, (Uppsala, 1974), p. 91f. Tobias Norlind, Från Tyska kyrkans glansdagar 2, (Stockholm, 1944), p. 53f. Wilhelm Tham, Axel Oxenstierna: hans ungdom och verksamhet intill år 1612, (Stockholm, 1935), p. 83. Rudolf Fåhraeus, Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, (Stockholm, 1936), p. 14.

61 Erik Kjellberg, Kungliga musiker i Sverige under stormaktstiden, (Uppsala, 1979), p. 109ff.

62 I'm most grateful to David van Edwards who kindly supplied me with this information.

63 I'm most grateful to Are Vidar Boye Hansen who kindly supplied me with this information..