This object is a reconstruction of a renaissance lute. These instruments were extremely popular in the renaissance and baroque period and are enjoying a revival in modern times. There are no surviving English lutes from this period. The great fire of London had a lot to do with this! The instrument reflects the amazing skill available to craftsmen and players who wrote the music. The lute indicates how keen people were to understand technology and music and to stretch the boundaries.
The European lute developed from the Arab Ud. An examination of the two instruments together shows how precision and refinement were all important to European culture. Music written for the lute is beautiful and when played shows how the composers had such an amazing understanding of the sonority of the instrument.
As an instrument maker, this object shows me how people can utilise the materials available to them and how we have such an inbuilt desire to manufacture a thing of beauty. All the material used in the construction has been used from trees that did not survive the storm of 1987.
It tells me how important it is for us to have an understanding of the past to preserve skills for the future.