An 18th century French hurdy gurdy

I have been lucky enough to have worked on a variety of different things over the years. One project that was a bit different than the usual bit of restoration that I do was this 18th century hurdy gurdy. It has a wheel that is charged with rosin that is cranked by a handle continuously bowing strings similar to a violin. There are drone strings and a keyboard that plays a melody on other strings. This instrument was missing the curved cover over the wheel. I made one to match out of ebony and ivory that I recycled from old piano keys. I inlaid mother of pearl bits to match the rest of the instrument. There were missing violin type keys and a missing ivory detail in the headpiece of the woman at the top of the instrument. I also had to design and build a way to display the piece that would allow a person to easily remove the piece from the stand . I did this by having small dovetailed buttons that could be pulled out when needed. These images are from 2002 like the campaign table in earlier postings and were shot on standard film.



Detail of the curved wheel guard that I made from ebony, ivory (from recycled piano keys) and mother of pearl. 


Imitation ivory inlaid into the headpiece of the woman and a few copies of the violin type keys that I made to match.


An image of the stand and instrument from behind. 


The sliding dovetailed keeper to hold the instrument and that can easily be removed when necessary. 


Restored instrument and stand.