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H7066 Balalaika, musical instrument, wood / tortoiseshell / mother of pearl / metal, maker unknown, Russia, 1845-1855. Click to enlarge.

Russian balalaika

Made by Unknown (person) in Russia, 1845-1855.
Balalaika, wood / tortoiseshell / mother of pearl / metal, Russia, 1845-1855

Three course, six stringed instrument with triangular body, long neck and carved headstock. Soundboard of wood and made in five sections to give triangular shape. Seven (7) strips of wood at back to create sound chamber, and piece at bottom for reinforcement. Carved horse head on each side of headstock, inlay of house on soundboard around small square sound hole. Tortoiseshell inlay on lower right hand corner of soundboard and upper side of soundboard [possibly acting as scratch plate]. House inlay of different types/colours of wood. Back of body curved - shallow bowl shape inlay around edge of different types of wood. Bottom/ end piece of wood has metal tail piece attached for anchoring strings. Small wooden moveable bridge. Hardwood neck, dark brown with three mother of pearl fret dots, fingerboard ends as body starts and has 16 frets. Wooden nut. Headstock attached to neck with two horse heads, one protruding from each side, at top six (6) tuning machines, three (3) each side with round tuning knobs.

Summary

Object No.

H7066

Object Statement

Balalaika, musical instrument, wood / tortoiseshell / mother of pearl / metal, maker unknown, Russia, 1845-1855

Physical Description

Balalaika, wood / tortoiseshell / mother of pearl / metal, Russia, 1845-1855

Three course, six stringed instrument with triangular body, long neck and carved headstock. Soundboard of wood and made in five sections to give triangular shape. Seven (7) strips of wood at back to create sound chamber, and piece at bottom for reinforcement. Carved horse head on each side of headstock, inlay of house on soundboard around small square sound hole. Tortoiseshell inlay on lower right hand corner of soundboard and upper side of soundboard [possibly acting as scratch plate]. House inlay of different types/colours of wood. Back of body curved - shallow bowl shape inlay around edge of different types of wood. Bottom/ end piece of wood has metal tail piece attached for anchoring strings. Small wooden moveable bridge. Hardwood neck, dark brown with three mother of pearl fret dots, fingerboard ends as body starts and has 16 frets. Wooden nut. Headstock attached to neck with two horse heads, one protruding from each side, at top six (6) tuning machines, three (3) each side with round tuning knobs.

Dimensions

Height

100 mm

Width

415 mm

Depth

725 mm

Production

Made

Unknown (person) Russia 1845-1855

History

Notes

The balalaika is one of the main instruments for playing traditional Russian music. It is often played in ensemble with the domra a close relative of the mandolin.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Russian balalaika 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <https://ma.as/247458>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/247458 |title=Russian balalaika |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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