December 1587, Manufacturer: Anton Meidting




The idea behind this instrument, which combines a spinettino and regal, is unique and surprising. When closed, it looks like a square coffer, richly embellished with inlays of various types of wood. These inlays form game boards for nine-men’s-morris, chess and backgammon. When the keyboard cover is removed, the object reveals its other nature. On the left side is a regal - an organ instrument with reed pipes. The game board is split in two and forms the cover for the bellows. Opening the cover on the right reveals a spinettino at two-foot pitch. When the lid is removed, the following inscription becomes visible: »Anthonius Meidting. Augustanus. Fecit. Anno domini 1587. Mensae Decembrii«. The motto of Ferdinand I, »Sic transit Gloria mundi«, is written on the jackrail of the spinet. This motto may refer either to the transient nature of earthly life or to the ‘dying away’ of each note in music. (rh)

Location: Neue Burg, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente Saal 9

Object data

Object Name



Germany, Augsburg


December 1587


Anton Meidting (spätes 16 Jhdt.) - GND

Dimensions Cover size is a museum or exhibition-specific information. It does not specify the real dimensions of the musical instrument.

920 mm x 460 mm x 85 mm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente

Inv. No.

Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 119

Kunst & Patenschaft

This object is still without a Art Patron. Accept the patronage and make sure that this cultural treasure is preserved for future generations.
Your donation is a direct and sustainable contribution to the scientific documentation, research, restoration, and presentation of the artworks of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

Become an art patron