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85/372 Virginal, wood / bone / tempera, attributed to Vincentius de Taeggiis, Bologna, Italy, 1629. Click to enlarge.

Virginal by Vincentius de Taeggiis

This instrument is not only the oldest musical instrument in the museum's collection but also possibly the oldest keyboard instrument in a public collection in Australia. It is representative of the broad style of plucked string keyboard instruments common in several parts of Europe from about the fifteenth century until the eighteenth century that featured lid paintings as an integral part of their artistic expression. Its significance lies in these main attributes.

The instrument has a …


Object No.


Object Statement

Virginal, wood / bone / tempera, attributed to Vincentius de Taeggiis, Bologna, Italy, 1629

Physical Description

Rectangular wooden virginal with false inner/outer construction. The outer case is made of painted green pine and the instrument and mouldings are made of cypress, decorated with bone studs. The compass is 4 octaves E/CC to F3 with a short octave in the bass. The inside lid is decorated with figures in a landscape, painted in tempera by a follower of Paul Bril (1554-1626), depicting hunting and fishing scenes and figures playing musical instruments (bass violin, cornett, hurdy-gurdy and harp).


Inscribed on inside lid in Renaissance Roman capitals: "F. VINCENTIUS de TAEGGIIS BONON ORDINs SERVOR. B.M.V. ANNO MDCXXIX".



200 mm


1500 mm


485 mm



Attributed to Vincentius de Taeggiis, Bologna, Italy, 1629.



Performances on this instrument were made by David Kinsella in 1989, including sixteen tracks of Renaissance music by Memmo, Attaingnant, Newman, Byrd, Facoli and Gardane, Eight tracks of Baroque music by J.S. Bach (Italian Concerto), J.-P. Rameau (Les Tendres Plaintes) and G.F. Handel (Suite in E, “The Harmonious Blacksmith”) fourth, revised edition.

These recordings remain available today.


Credit Line

Purchased 1985

Acquisition Date

27 March 1985

Cite this Object


Virginal by Vincentius de Taeggiis 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 November 2022, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Virginal by Vincentius de Taeggiis |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 November 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}