Sellas theorbo update…

While the re-enactment season has started, work in the shop continues as normal. Jannemieke’s Sellas theorbo is getting along fine. Time for an update…

The carvings on the back of the neck are finished. We were a little bit in doubt about the colors: make it full color like the old cart? Or only gold?. After some contemplation we decided not to color them further, but keep them only in gold. This will give a more neo-classicist look to the whole instrument, when the background is painted black.

To reflect this decoration on the rest of the instrument we decided to do the same thing to the rose. There are a couple of historical examples with gilded roses, like this example by Basilio Smit (left).

I always wanted to try this, but never dared to. Thinking it would be too much. But somehow on this theorbo it makes sense.

The diamond border around the soundholes is treated with a dark shellac, to emulate the effect on the Basilio Smit example.

Time for bracing and bridge…

The Sellas soundboard is just braced like a “normal” lute or theorbo. Albeit being only a little bit heavier on a couple of bars, and having more finger braces on the treble side.

While the soundboard is glued, the bridge can be made. This is one of my personal favorite tasks. Don’t ask me wby, but I think it is because of its sculptural aspect. A bit like a scroll on a violin. There is much character and style added to the instrument. It’s one of the places where a builder can leave his individual mark.

I decided to deviate from the design by Sellas and make it more in line with the rest of the theorbo’s decoration, The leaves, found in the carvings and rose adorn the ends of the bridge.

And to keep it in style: the ends are painted gold as well…

When the bracing is ready, the bars can be ‘tuned’ (shaping them to give the board an optimal resonance). And the whole lute can be assembled and set up…

Stay tuned for more updates…

 

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