Anonymous: 17th century


  • Cover page, Andreas Rauch’s Currus Triumphalis Musicus, imperatorum romanorum tredecim ex augustiss  published by M. Ricci, Vienna (1648), engraving, 17th century. Paris: Bibliotheque Nationale. Ref. Bartlett (2012: 9, fig.); Website: gallica (2016). On an ornately engraved cover page,the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III (1608-1657) is depicted riding majestically in an imperial chariot over a magnificent illustration of his chapel musicians and a dedicatory text celebrating both the Peace of Westphalia and Ferdinand’s recent marriage to Maria Leopoldine. Ferdinand III was a well-known patron of music and a composer. The musicians sing and play many instruments, including straight and folded trumpets, trombones, cornetti, viols, cello, lute, organetto, timpani … and a large wind-instrument resembling a pillar played with a bocal. At the front, three cannon are blazing away, presumably as part of the band. The columnar instrument probably represents a reed instrument, but it could represent a bass recorder and is reminiscent of a similar instrument depicted in Christof Angermair’s ivory carving Pan making Music with Shepherds from the coin cabinet of Elizabeth of Lorraine (made 1618-1624). Currus Triumphalis Musicus was dedicated to Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III. It features 14 sacred works in a ‘Colossal Baroque’ style scored for three to five choirs and obbligato instruments and trumpet fanfares. Each work was dedicated to on of the 13 Hapsburg emperors throughout history.
  • Angel Musicians (1651–1675), Austrian. Garstein: Stiftskirche. Ref. RIdIM Austria: Nr. 401 (2001); Prof. Tilman Seebas (pers. comm., 2001). Putti sing and angel musicians play lyra, lute, recorder, cello, shawms and other wind-instruments.
  • King Leopold of Austria’s Victory over the Turks (1683–1705), drawing in brown ink, from an anonymous ?Austrian print. Uppsala: Universitetsbibliotek, Davidsson 6336 a, H 158. Ref. Paolo Biordi (pers. comm., 2000); RIdIM Stockholm (2000); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). A representation of King Leopold of Austria’s victory over the Turks, probably in 1683. In the background the Austrian army fires on the fleeing Turks. In the foreground right King Leopold meets the King of Turkey (Johan Sobieski), the King of Hungary (Josephus I) and their retinues. To their left musicians around a huge round table play on double bass, spinet, violin, bagpipe and a turned baroque alto recorder. On the table before lie two lutes and their part books.”This could be a copy by Ulrika Eleonora (1688–1741, sister of Charles XII) from a series of prints in a History of Sweden (now lost) as part of her history lessons. The print cannot be earlier than 1679 (dated) and the battle at Vienna (there were several to expel the Turks) was probably the one in 1683. To the original print is between 1683 and Leopold’s death in 1705. Ulrike’s copying would not be likely to be until she was at least 15, ie in 1703. She could have ‘modernised’ the recorder, but I think this is unlikely. If the original engraving (if it exists and these are not originals themselves) is, say, 1685, it is early for a representation of a ‘baroque’ (Hotteterre style) recorder, and could be the first unambiguous representation by a Swedish artist. Uppsala are considering paper-dating tests. The attribution of the work to Ulrika is uncertain. If they are not by her, and are in fact originals as drawing, the earlier dating, ie 1683 becomes a possibility” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.)
  • From Aria imperatoris Ferdinandi III, 36 modis variata pro cembalo, by F. Henricus (1648), engraving, Austrian. Vienna: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. Ref. Blume (1949–1963, 4: pl. 2); Angelo Zaniol ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). The score of what looks like a masque dance is held up by a woman standing beneath a spreading tree. Beside her, a man sits on a rock playing lyre. Opposite them, a group of musicians play lute, spinet, a flared-bell duct flute of alto size (probably a recorder), and a slender, cylindrical pipe (possibly a flute).


  • [Untitled] (late 17th century), woodcarving from the royal throne of the Castle of Prague. Prague: Muzeum Hlavniho Města Prahy. Ref. Buchner (1961: pl. 175). A bas relief with trumpet, lute, viol, viola, cornetto and (alto) recorder. The recorder has a very considerable flare at the bell and clearly shows paired holes for the lowest vent.


  • Title page: Giardino nova bellissimo (1605), Melchior Borchgrevinck (m. 1632), published by Henricus Waltkirch, Copenhagen, Denmark. London: British Museum. Ref. Fraenkel (1968: pl. 92). A collection of madrigals that includes specimens by Claudio Monteverdi, Rossi, Croce and others, including Borchgrevinck himself. The title panel is surrounded by a decorative border. On the left stands Apollo with his lyre; on the right Pan with his syrinx. Above musicians around a table sing and play lutes and viol. Below, Pegasus stands on Mt Helicon at the foot of which the Muses sing and play lutes, fiddle, cornetto and a flared-bell pipe (probably a recorder since all fingers of the lowermost hand are covering their holes).
  • Musical Angels (17th century), ceiling decoration, Danish. Hillerød: Frederiksborg Slot (Castle), Great Hall. Ref. Website: Denmark Travel Encyclopedia, Planetware: Denmark Tourist Attraction Photos (2002). At each of the four corners of one of many rectangular panels an angel holds a columnar wind instrument. These possibly represent columnar recorders.


  • Organ case (ca 1602), carved wood, Dutch. ‘s Hertengebosch: Sint Janskathedraal. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). “The organ case, assembled around 1602, is enormous, covering the entire West wall of a large cathedral. The wood is, or was, stained very dark, and the light in the cathedral not good because of the heavy stained-glass windows. Quite low down, at the cornice of the underpart of the tribune, are eight grotesques, probably fauns, playing wind and percussion instruments, including shawm, transverse flute and one which could be a recorder or mute cornetto – the bottom of the instrument below the lower hand is damaged, which does not help identification. This is the fourth on the left. The second from the left plays an instrument which looks as though it might be a recorder, and there is an even more probable one on the right side of the row of fauns. Additionally, very high up, are some ‘crossed object’ decorations filling square spaces, and one of these could be a pair of small hand-fluyten” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.)
  • Frontispiece, E. Pels de Jonge,  ‘t Amsteldams flvytertie fluytende …, published by Christiaen Meulemans, Amsterdam (1626), engraving, Dutch. Utrecht: Universiteitbibliotheek. Ref. Griffioen (1991: 69, fig. 4.1, b&w). A shepherd wearing a very wide hat sits on a bank against the Amsterdam skyline playing a long narrow slightly flared recorder with a pronounced bell. An accompanying verse reads:

Viool of Clavecoort, de Harp, de Lier of Luyt,
Behaghen Amaril niet soo wel als myn Fluyt:
Waer door dat ick veracht het speelen op de Snaren,
En wil op dese Fluyt de deuntjes t’saem vergaren.

Violin or clavichord, harp, lyre or lute,
None please Amaryllis as well as my flute;
And so I disdain the playing of the string;
And on this flute the tunes together bring.

A transcription of the verse in this publication can be found here.

  • Vanitas (1660–1664), oil on panel, 87 × 102 cm, Dutch. London: Christies, Old Masters & British Paintings, 5 July 2013, Lot 108. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, illustration 1000276958 (2014, col.) Beneath a tasseled drapes, On a table mostly covered with a green cloth, are scattered an oyster shell, a playing card, a casket, pearl necklaces, a roemer, two pomegranates, a coin, a columbine cup, a talon purse, a wine flask, a theorbo, a laurel wreath, an hourglass, a square bottle, a ribbon, a clay pipe, a smouldering wick, a crumpled book of sheet music, and two duct flutes. One of the latter is a clearly depicted hand-fluyt, details of the beak, window/labium, seven finger holes (the lowest off-set) and slightly flared bell clearly visible. The other is mostly hidden behind the music, but the beak, window/labium and a maker’s makr are clear enough: it is slender and of sopranino size. On the back of the canvas is written the name and dates of Willem Kalf  (1622–1693), a a Dutch Golden Age painter who specialized in still lifes and later an art dealer.
  • Decorated archway (? 1632), carved marble, Dutch. Amsterdam: Westerkerk, Western doorway. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). The doorways to this church were originally entrance portals to a cemetery and carry symbols of death. Four putti hold a wreath: on the left, one sits on an hourglass; on the right, one sits on a skull; two in the centre stand either side of a plinth surmounted by another skull and on the front of which is a garland of an oboe and a recorder crossed with a music book. The recorder is cylindrical with a raised bead at above the foot.
  • Arcadian Landscape with a Shepherd Playing a Flute and a Shepherdess Singing (ca 1630/40), oil on panel, 16.0 × 20.5 cm, Dutch. Haarlem: Frans Hals Museum, Inv. OS I-620. Watched by their sheep, a shepherd and shepherdess sit beneath a tree. She sings from a sheet of paper, he accompanies her on a narrowly conical recorder, his mouth and fingers perfectly disposed for recorder playing.
  • An Extensive Landsape with Peasant Women Reading Paper as a Traveller Stands by and a Shepherd Boy Pipes (1632), ? after Le Nain, Dutch (School of Haarlem). Location unknown. Ref. Christies (London), Catalogue (18 May 1990); Constance Scholten ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2008). Beside a road, a man leaning on his walking stick stands before a woman seated on a bank reading or perhaps singing from a sheet of paper. Above her sits a young boy playing on what appears to be a recorder, given the hand position and paired holes for the little finger of the lowermost hand. Beside him is a bagpipe. A small child clambers up the bank behind him. A sheep and a couple of goats seem to be appreciating the music. in the foreground is a large brass ewer. The presence of both bagpipes and recorder is unusual. This painting is strongly reminiscent of paintings by the Le Nain brothers.
  • Vanitas Still-life (mid-17th century), oil on panel, 47 × 60 cm, Dutch. Amsterdam: Sotheby’s, 6 May 1997, Lot 33. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie 33479 (2010, col.); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). Includes a rose, a songbook and the upper half of a recorder with a brass sheath covering the beak; the body below the first finger hole is hidden. Formerly attributed to Hendrik Andriessen (1607–1655).
  • Decorated swags (? 1632), carved marble, Dutch. Amsterdam: Westerkerk, each side of organ, by wall. Ref. Zanten (1999); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). Groups of musical instruments, very finely carved, including on right (North) side of organ a soprano recorder with a head slightly larger in circumference than the body (foot obscured), and several parts of recorders on both sides.
  • The Yarmouth Collection, (ca 1665), 165.0 × 246.5 cm, Dutch. Norwich: Castle Museum and Art Gallery NWHCM 1947.170. Ref. Rijksmuseum Bulletin 8: 92 (1960); Hill & Cornforth (1966: 44); Connoisseur 164: 25 (1967); Langermeyer & Peters (1979: 439, no. 230); Rasmussen (2002, Trumpet); Wikimedia Commons (2008, col.); Moore, Flis & Vanke (2018); Bucklow (2018); Website: Lute Iconography, Image LI-1054 (2023, col.) Formerly known as The Paston Treasures, this is an enigmatic pronk still-life, by an anonymous Dutch artist, with an unusually extensive collection of vanitas objects scattered on and around a table beneath a tasseled drape. Amongst the objects depicted are nautilus shells, fruit, a lobster, a globe, a clock, shells, flowers, an hourglass, a candle and candlestick, a young negro slave with a monkey, a young girl with an open music book, ornate vases and containers, and musical instruments. Amongst the latter are a pochette, violin, lute, cittern, trumpet, viol, and an alto-sized renaissance recorder of which the beak and seven finger holes are clearly depicted  (the seventh hole is very low down on the instrument and the foot is hidden behind the globe). This painting has recently been cleaned and restored and it’s ornately carved frame re-gilded with the assistance of crowd funding. In partnership with the Yale Centre for British Art an exhibition to re-unite the restored painting with as many as possible of the Paston family’s treasures it depicts, The Paston Treasure: Microcosm of the Known World,  was held early 2018 at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, USA. T he objects were collected by Robert and his father, Sir William Paston (c.1610–1663) who made acquisitions on a long journey travelling through Europe and on to Cairo and Jerusalem. The collection consisted of over 200 objects and included many natural curiosities made into decorative art objects, such as mounted seashells and ostrich eggs.  The unknown Dutch artist resided at the Paston family residence at Oxnead Hall near Aylsham in Norfolk for approximately 3 months, in order to complete the commission.
  • Vanitas with Musical Instruments and Books (1680), oil on canvas, 60.3 × 69.5 cm, Dutch. Houston: Menil Collection, Inv. 1983-021 DJ. Ref. Website: Bowed Strings Iconography Project, bsip237 (2022, col.)  In an elaborate frame resembling carved wood, on a table covered with a red cloth lie vanitas objects, amongst them an open book, a candlestick with a smoking candle, an inkwell and pens, a human cranium, a furled note, an hourglass, a globe, and musical instruments. The latter comprise a lute, a drum, a folded trumpet, a decorated violin and bow and a small duct-flute (probably a recorder). Various papers and drawings hang from a tape above. Below, a butterfly has landed on a furled banner which bears an epigram in Dutch.
  • Young Man with an Elegant Young Woman in an Interior (1670–1690), Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie 33345 (2001); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). A clearly depicted soprano recorder lies on some music.
  • Still-life (1689), Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Sale catalogue (?date: fig. 27); Paris RIdIM (2000). A jumble of objects lie precariously on a cloth-covered table including a lute, statuette, a globe, books, papers, a violin, an artist’s palette, a small framed portrait, documents with seals and the bell and fontanelle of a shawm or tenor recorder projecting from underneath a wallet of some kind.
  • Title page: Trios, Opus 1 by Servaas de Konink (1690), engraving, Dutch. Durham: Cathedral Library. Ref. Haynes (2001: 155, pl. 3.3) At the foot of the title page are a bassoon, 3 oboes, and a perfectly depicted baroque recorder.
  • Speelen van Cupido (1694/1895),  woodcut print on paper, 42.3 × 33.3 cm, Dutch. The Hague: Koninklijke Bibliotheek, RP-P-OB-200.086. Ref. Arnold den Teuling (2015-pers. comm.) A so-called cents prent (one cent woodcut) printed by Margareta van Bancken (ca 1628–1694) and reprinted in (1895). A sheet with 24  children’s games and activities depicted by cupids  playing with marbles, a bat and ball and hoops, picking fruit, fishing, riding a goat and a swan, dancing, etc. Under each picture is a verse couplet. In the first column, fifth picture down a cupid plays a slender, flared-bell pipe, described in the the couplet below as a fluyt, probably a recorder in this picture:

Cupido speelt vast overluyt
Een aerdig Deuntje op sijn Fluyt

Cupid plays much too loudly
A gentle ditty on his flute

  • Vanitas Still Life (early 17th century, Dutch. Engelskirchen: Schloss Ehreshoven. Ref. ? Author (1972: fig. 257). “Includes a violin, a lute and a recorder. unimp.” ((Rasmussen, 2004, Lute).
  • Two Men Singing (17th century), mezzotint, Dutch. The Hague: Gemeentemuseum. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). “In the style of Brouwer, possibly after a painting or drawing by him or a follower. One singer sits at a table with a small cylindrical duct flute in his hand; the other stands nearby. The seated man could be singing or laughing; he holds the instrument in playing position, left hand uppermost. The right-hand second and fourth fingers half-cover their holes, with an open hole between them and another (in line) below. A likely hand-fluyt” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.)
  • Man with a Flute (17th century), Dutch. Duchenne Bouillon Collection. Ref. Paris RIdIM (1999). A man holds a recorder between his lips which are very relaxed. Two holes for the lowermost finger are just visible.
  • Pastoral (17th century), oil on copper, 22.3 × 16.4 cm, Dutch. Toulouse: Musée des Augustins, Inv. RO 489. Ref. Joconde Website (1999). A leafy, pastoral scene in which shepherd with a duct flute (flageolet or recorder) guards his sheep, accompanied by a dog. Not seen.
  • Carving on a commode (17th century), Dutch. Aachen: Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, AAsm – 156). Includes two violins, cello, flute, bassoon and a recorder or chalumeau. Not seen.
  • Gilded ornamental carving (a. 1630), Anonymous. Alkmaar: Grote St-Laurenskerk, great organ. Ref. Website: David en Goliath, De Victorie van Alkmaar (2002). Three musical angels. Two sing and one plays a slender conical pipe which is slightly curved towards the foot. No window/labium is visible which, together with the curve seems to imply that a cornetto was intended. However, all fingers of the lowermost (right) hand are down and appear to be covering their holes, so a recorder remains a possibility. The organ’s origins date back to 1630. The general plan, which has been preserved to this day, was designed by Jacob van Campen, the famous architect of the royal palace in Amsterdam. Although its internal workings have been altered, most recently by Flentrop, the external case and ornamentation has remained untouched.
  • Standing Shepherd with a Flute (17th century), crayon and pencil on brown paper, 22.7 × 13.0 cm, Dutch. Cologne: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Z 1913/183. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, KNwr – 411). A hatted shepherd leans against a tree stump his staff in his left hand, an alto flared-bell recorder in his right.
  • Vanitas (17th century), oil on canvas, Dutch. Ref. Website: Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2001, col.) On a draped table are a statuette, a plumed helmet, an hourglass, a candlestick and candle, two sea-shells, playing cards, letters, a skull, a violin, and a cylindrical recorder with a metal sheath apparently covering the beak and extending below the window/labium. The foot of the recorder is hidden behind underneath the letters. Auctioned 2 November 2000, sold (Gabrius, loc. cit.)
  • Vanitas (17th century), oil on canvas, Dutch. Ref. Website: Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2001, b&w.) In a trunk lies a jumble of objects including books, a candlestick and candle, a large sea-shell, a skull, a watch, medallions, an hourglass, an engraved portrait, sheet music, a violin, and the head of a recorder, only the upper head of which is visible but with the beak, windway, and window/labium clearly depicted. Auctioned 14 October 1998 , sold (Gabrius, loc. cit.)
  • Goatherds in a Landscape (17th century), oil on canvas, Dutch. Ref. Website: Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2001, b&w). A shepherd and shepherdess sit opposite one another watching their sheep and goats. She holds a long staff; he is about to play his slender flared-bell pipe which may represent a recorder.
  • Young Men in a Study (17th century), oil on panel, Dutch. London: Sotheby’s, Old Master Paintings, 3 July 1996, Lot 108. Ref. Website: Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2001, col.); Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, illustration IB00109646  (2014, b&w). A young man welcomes a friend into his study. On a table behind him are a globe, papers and a renaissance-style recorder with a flared bell which looks as if it may be made of brass! Leaning against a chair is a lute. A companion-piece is entitled Ladies Sewing. Auctioned 3 July 1996, sold (Gabrius, loc. cit.)
  • Still-life, (17th century), oil on canvas, Dutch. Ref. Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2001, b&w). On a carpet-draped table are a book, a gilt beaker, a candlestick a gilt tankard, a stoneware pot, a sheet of music and a baroque alto recorder with ivory beak and mounts, the foot of which is hidden behind the other objects. Auctioned 17 November 1992, sold (Gabrius, loc. cit.)
  • Pastoral Scene with Shepherds and Shepherdesses (late 17th century), Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (2001); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). One of the shepherds holds in his left hand a cylindrical alto recorder with a slightly flared bell; an ornamental bead, the window/labium and two possible finger holes are visible.
  • Ornate gilt picture frame (? 17th century), for Cornelis Pieterz. Bega’s The Music Lesson (1663). Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NM 310. Ref. Anthony Rowland-jones (pers. comm., 2000). There is no recorder in the picture itself. The cartouche at the top of the frame shows a recorder crossed with a cittern. The recorder has a curved-over beak, heavily moulded rings, and a small cut-out shape for the window/labium. Below this the instrument is hidden up to the lower part with paired little-finger holes and two finger holes above. The bell-end is heavily ring-moulded. The date of the frame is unknown. Notes by Rowland-Jones (loc. cit.)
  • Old Woman with a Recorder (17th century), oil on canvas, 56.5 × 39.4 cm, Dutch (Utrecht School). London: Phillips, 7 July 1998, Lot 165; formerly N. Ström, Göteborg. Ref. Website: Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2002, col.); Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie 47659 (2010, col.) An old woman (depicted bust-length) wearing a turban grasps a recorder in her right hand. Only the head of recorder can be seen and the corner of a maker’s mark is just visible.
  • [Musicians] (17th century), 39.5 × 32.0 cm, Dutch (Utrecht School). Location unknown: offered for sale by Mrs Sefton (1952). Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, The Hague, negative no. L33841; Ruth van Baak Griffioen (pers. comm., 2003). Four musicians stand in what appears to be a balcony: a female singer with her music; a female recorder player whose instrument is of the hand-fluyt kind; a female viol player who holds her instrument over the side of the balcony; and a male violinist in the background.
  • Two Musicians (17th century), oil on canvas, 99 x 123.5 cm, Dutch. By one of the Utrecht Caravagissti, from the Roberth Lehman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Art Museum,  Inv. 1975.1.125. Ref. Website: Lute Iconography, Image LI-1246 (2023, col.) Two young musicans play opposite one another across a table. On the right, a young man wearing a lobed black cap, plays a lute. On the left, his companion plays flute, the little finger of his lowermost hand is right at the very foot of his instrument. There is no recorder, here.
  • [Shepherd with a Recorder] (17th century), Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Doucmentatie, The Hague, negative 24268; Ruth van Baak Griffioen (pers. comm., 2003). A shepherd with curly hair wearing a fur cloak holds a perfectly depicted hand-fluyt
  • [Shepherd and Shepherdess] (17th century), Dutch (Utrecht School). Location unknown: offered for sale by J. Sachs, Warsaw (1939). Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Doucmentatie, The Hague ex Ruth van Baak Griffioen (pers. comm., 2003). A young shepherdess sits with an open music book on her knee. Beside her, a young shepherd looks questioningly up at her, one hand on her shin, the other holding a recorder only the head and upper body of which are visible. This composition is somewhat reminiscent of Abraham Bloemaert’s Shepherd and Shepherdess (1627) in the Nidersächsiches Landesmuseum, Hannover.
  • [Shepherd with a Recorder] (17th century), 40 × 66 cm, Dutch (Utrecht School). Location unknown: sold by Malmedé, Cologne (1936). Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Doucmentatie, The Hague ex Ruth van Baak Griffioen (pers. comm., 2003). Marked on the back ‘Stork’ and possibly ‘1651’. A shepherd in a plumed cap and a loose shirt and cloak holds a hand-fluyt in his left hand and points with his right.
  • Carved oak cupboard (17th century), artist unknown, Dutch. Fyvie: Fyvie Castle, entrance hall. Ref. Hersom (1994: 65, detail, b&w); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2003). On the front of the chest a child instrumentalist holds a flared pipe (possibly a recorder though the lowermost finger hole is single and in line with the rest), the upper part of which is missing.
  • Vanitas Still-life with Books (late 17th century, oil on panel, 47 × 60 cm, Dutch. Location unknown: formerly Private Collection, Netherlands; sold by Galerie David Koetser, Zürich (? date). Ref. Constance Scholten (pers. comm., 2005); Debra Pring (2006). On a stone shelf are an inkwell and quill, a stone jar, books, an arrow, hourglass, watch, rose, elaborate oil lamp, and an alto-sized one-piece recorder with a maker’s mark in a scroll immediately beneath the window/labium. One of the books seems to be a hymnal, open at a page headed ‘s Menschen Ooghmerck CANON à 4 In een stem with words and music. Attributed to Hendrik Andriessen (1607-1655) by its former owner, David Koetster, and before that to Pieter Steenwijk by Sotheby’s.
  • Flute Player (17th century), painting, artist unknown, ? Dutch. Brussels: Paleis voor Schone Kunsten. Ref. Universitatario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte Firenze, Special Photo Study Collections, Image 0000648 (2009, b&w). A bearded man in feathered hat holds a flared-bell recorder, left hand uppermost.
  • Flute Player (17th century), painting, artist unknown, ? Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Universitatario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte Firenze, Special Photo Study Collections, Image 0015716 (2009, b&w). A young lad in a feathered hat plays cylindrical recorder, left hand uppermost.
  • Boy Flute Player, by Oil Lamp (17th century), painting, artist unknown, ? Dutch. Ref. Universitatario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte Firenze, Special Photo Study Collections, Image 0000647 (2009, b&w). Caravaggesque depiction of a young boy in a feathered cap holding a musical score in one hand and a cylindrical alto-sized recorder in the other.
  • A Young Flute Player with a Companion Figure (17th century), oil on canvas, 24 × 18 cm, Dutch School. Location unknown: Bonhams (New York & San Francisco), Sale 15410 – European Paintings, 7 November 2007, Lot 39. Watched by an older man, a young boy plays a cylindrical recorder. Although the disposition of his fingers is haphazard, there appear to be seven finger holes.
  • Still-life (17th century), oil on panel, 39.2 × 33.7 cm, Dutch. Belgium: Private Collection; auctioned Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, 3 May 1999 Lot 166. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie 60820 (2010, col.) On a bench are a vase of flowers, an hourglass, a book, some papers, and a hand-fluyt, only the head and body of which are visible.
  • Dancing Peasants and Musicians (17th century), black chalk on paper, 21.0 × 33.2 cm, Dutch. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale. Ref. Lugt & Vallery-Radot (1936: no. 264); Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie 109986 (2010, b&w). An elderly couple dance to music provided by a drummer and a piper. Although only sketched, the pipe is clearly a duct flute since the window/labium is clearly visible.
  • Interior Scene (17th century), painting, Dutch School. Location unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). In a room with a tiled chequer-board floor a young woman sits peeling fruit for her daughter, who stands, and an infant in a high chair. Behind them in a corner, their dad sits tootling away on a narrowly conical duct flute, the characteristic beak of which can just be discerned.
  • Musicians’ Gallery (17th century), painting, Utrecht School. Location unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Four female musicians in a gallery: a singer, violinist, cellist and recorder player. The recorder is of alto-size, in one piece with a flared bell.
  • Glorification of Commerce and Science (1625–1649), oil on canvas, 70 × 92 cm, Dutch. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Inv. SK-A-3027. Beneath the ruins of a city overlooking a city on the coast, three children are busy with reading and writing; before them, lying on the ground, are piles of books and geometry instruments. Under the porch on the left, a group of scientists sit around a table with a globe and, against the wall, a bookcase. On a pillar at the entrance hangs a clock. Right in the foreground, watched by two foxes, are two monkeys and a group of objects that refer to fun and entertainment: musical instruments, playing cards, glasses with wine, a trik-trak game, masks, swords, a music book and the torso of a statue. In the background dancing comedians are gathered for a play staged outside a village. Up in the air, driving his chariot drawn by roosters, is Mercury. From the chariot, some musical instruments are falling, including a viola d’amore, tambourine (with jingle rings), shawm,  duct flute (with four finger holes), ocarina, tennis racket and balls, masks, smoking pipes, a mirror, playing cards, dice and other vanitas objects. Another monkey has hitched a ride in the back of Mercury’s van. The allusion illustrated by all this seems to be that it is good to be industrious and to pursue learning (left-hand side of the picture) even though tempted by all sorts of entertainments and amusements (right-hand side of picture).
  • Portrait of an Unknown Man (late 17th century), oil on canvas, 53.6 × 44.2 cm, ? Dutch. London: Sotheby’s, Sale 11094, 27 October 1993, Lot 86. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, illustration IB00106499 (2014, b&w). An elegantly dressed young man in a soft cap sits at a table before a draped window. He holds a slightly tapering hand-fluyt, the offset hole for the lowermost finger clearly seen.  On the table is an open book of music and an alto recorder of similar design. On the wall behind him are a number of paintings.
  • Old Man Playing the Recorder (late 17th century), mezzotint, 21.6 × 15.1 cm, Dutch. London: British Museum, Inv. 1877,0609.110. An elderly man with a beard sits in a chair playing a one-piece cylindrical alto recorder, right hand uppermost. Details of the beak, window/labium and offset-hole for the little finger of the lowermost hand are clearly depicted. The foot is incised with two decorative rings.
  • Painter’s chest (c.1640–1660), oil on oak, 21.5 × 44.0 × 36.0 × 23.7 cm, Dutch. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, BK-15234. Ref. Jan Bouterse (pers. comm., 2015). This painter’s chest has been attributed variously to Anthonie Jansz. van der Croos 1606/07–1662/63) and Jan Martszen de Jonge (1609–1647). The exterior is decorated with scenes including cavalry battles, a grisaille depicting a winter landscape with hunters, a water landscape with ducks, and two villages. On the inside of the lid is a pastoral scene depicting a young man seated beneath a tree playing a perfectly depicted hand-fluyt to an audience of sheep and a goat. The recorder appears to have a metal-sheathed beak. In the distance, atop a grassy knoll a shepherd watches his beasts. The box contains three drawers containing painting supplies.
  • Title Page: Claas Douwes, Grondig ondersoek van de toonen der musijk [A thorough examination of music] (1699), engraving on paper, Dutch. Published by Adriaan Heins, Franeker. Ref. Website: Treosar (2015). An ornamental border surrounding the central title plate depicts many musical instruments including, pipe organ, violin, cello, viol (6 strings), virginals, marine trumpet and many wind instruments. Amongst the latter are cornetti, shawms, oboe, flutes and several duct flutes, probably recorders. Claas Douwes (ca 1650–ca 1725), an organist and schoolmaster in Tzum, Friesland, wrote this instruction book, apparently directed at provincial musicians and comprising mostly information on music theory and contemporaneous keyboard practice. His short section on the recorder describes in words the fingerings for a tenor recorder with the range c1 to d3.
  • Momento Mori (17th century), painting, 65.7 × 59.9 cm, Dutch. Ghent: Museum of Fine Arts 1973-AD. A table is littered with vanitas objects including an hour-glass, the cranium of a human skull, a document, a ?perfume bottle, shells, smoking pipes, a parrot, a mirror,some jewellery and a soprano hand-fluyt which leans upside down against the skull. The beak, window/labium and the four bottom finger holes are clearly depicted, the lowermost slightly offset.
  • Vanitas (late 17th century), oil on canvas, 103 × 128 cm, Dutch. London: Trafalgar Galleries (2001).  Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistoriche Documentatie, Image . 0000073466 (2016, col.) Bears a monogram of  Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraeten (1630-1700) but no longer attributed to him. On a marble shelf covered with a fringed drape are a celestial globe, books, a skull, a petaloid pewter dish with an orange and a pomegranate, a guttering candle, a violin and bow, a dancing master’s kit, and a recorder, the foot hidden behind an open printed book of music, but the beak, window/labium and first four finger holes clearly depicted.
  • Venus and Adonis (17th century), painting, Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Venus and Adonis, resting on a tree-covered hillside, are entertained by a band of putti who dance and play bagpipe, cello and a duct flute (possibly a recorder).
  • Musical and Dancing Putti (1766–1769), oil on canvas (grisaille), 86 × 111 cm, Dutch. Middelburg: Private Collection. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, illustration 95664 (2014, col.) Six putti amuse themselves: one plays a tambourine and one plays a clearly depicted hand-fluyt whilst the others dance.
  • Woman Playing a Recorder in a Landscape with a Dog and Gentleman, oil on canvas, 78.8 × 62.2 cm, Dutch (17th century). Location unknown: Auctioned 18-19 November 2016. Ref. Website: Mutual Art (2021-col.) A buxom woman plays a soprano-sized recorder, watched by a portly man who gazes intensely at her. A dog sleeps at their side. The intention here is blatantly erotic.
  • Boy with a Recorder and Sheet Music (late 17th century), oil on panel, 27.3 × 20.9 cm, Dutch. Munich: Karl & Faber, Old Masters, Lot 29, Auction 298, 14 November 2020; formerly Private Collection, Germany. Seated at a rustic table, a  young boy with faraway eyes, holds a small recorder (a soprano or possibly sopranino) in his left hand whilst pointing to an open music book with his right. In the background are trees and a mountain.
  • Still life, oil on canvas, doubled, 60.0 × 84.5 cm, Dutch. Munich: Hampel, Sale, 30 March 2023, Lot 150. In front of a brown back wall with a heavy dark red curtain hanging down and partially drawn to one side, a wooden table with carefully arranged objects on it. These include a wine glass with a hanging lemon peel, an opened oyster, a bowl with cutlery and shrimps, another bowl with a bright orange orange, a reddish plum and a peeled yellow lemon, with bunches of grapes above them and finally a pewter-topped wine jug next to one slightly shiny pewter mug. On the right side an open book with inscription and graphics, underneath, over the table top partly covered with a dark velvet cover, some graphically inscribed sheets as well as a recorder and some sheets of music. Details of the beak, window/labium and first three finger-holes are visible, the lower part of the instrument is covered by papers.


  • Coat of Arms (ca 1611–1612), stone carving. Bakewell (Derbyshire): All Saints Church, Vernon Chapel, tomb of Sir John Manners. Detail. Ref. Hunter (1966: 18); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2006); Website: flickr, groenling’s photostream (2010, col.) A coat of arms comprising a shield in which one of 12 quarterlings for Vernon on a larger shield, with recorders forming a chevron, with the mouthpieces close together (the reverse of those at Tong). There are also eight ‘crosses crosslet’ as described above in the Pype family coat of arms. Also on the larger shield also contains 16 quarterlings for Manners (Sir John Manners was Dorothy Vernon’s husband). The quartering of the shield indicates that Dorothy Vernon and her husband were several generations younger than Sir William Vernon of Tong. The “Dorothy Vernon Monument” mentioned by by Hunter (loc. cit) as such does not exist! Sir William Vernon of Tong, who married Margaret Pype, was an ancestor of Sir George Vernon (d. 1567) commemorated by an alabaster monument along with his wives Margaret and then Maude. His daughter Dorothy famously eloped (1563) with John Manners, later Sir John and Earl of Rutland, with his ancestral home at Belvoir Castle, perched on the wold escarpment near Grantham. This more spectacularly-sited residence became the choice of the Rutlands when they inherited Haddon, which was neglected until restorations were carefully made by the 9th Duke of Rutland in the 20th century. Belvoir was virtually rebuilt to stay up-to-date with changing fashions, and is now an immense Victorian pile. Having produced four children (seen on the monument to Sir John Manners at Bakewell), Dorothy died in 1584 and her effigy lies beside her husband’s, who died at a good age in 1611. The coat of arms harking back to Dorothy’s Pype ancestors is on the side of the tomb, which would have been made around 1611 to 1612. The Vernon Chapel is now used as a vestry and is no longer open to the public.
  • From The Treasure of Musick (1669) by Henry Lawes, woodcut, English. Ref. Blume (1949–1963, 8: 369–370); Angelo Zaniol ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). A woman, beautifully dressed and bejeweled and wearing a coronet, plays a lute, her music book on her lap. Behind her is an organ and on the wall a trophy comprising a violin and a cylindrical pipe (? flute) crossed with a flared-bell recorder, the beak and window/labium clearly visible. Henry Lawes died in 1662.
  • Mercury and Argus (17th century), Mortlake tapestry, English. Ref. Warburg Institute. In a wooded garden, Mercury, dressed in flowing robes and wearing his winged helmet and sandals, has just finished playing a turned baroque alto recorder to a somnolent Argus.
  • Vanitas (after 1698), oil on canvas, 72.0 × 119.5 cm, English. Salisbury: Woolley & Wallis, Old Masters, British & European Paintings, 1-11 Aug 2021, Lot 386 (sold); formerly  Richmond: Collection Jill Croft-Murray. Ref. Bergmann (1965: 335); The English Orpheus 12: Odes on the Death of Henry Purcell, The Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra and Choir, Website: Hyperion Records CDA66578 (1992, cover, col.); Burden (1995: fig. 16, b&w); Debra Pring (pers. comm., 2007); Mathew Dart (pers. comm., 2010); Website: Bowed Strings Iconography Project, bsip2223 (2022, col.) On a table covered with a rug are baroque alto and tenor ivory-mounted recorders with viola, guitar, bassoon, a copy open at the title page) of Henry Purcell’s A Collection of Ayres Compos’d for the Theatre (1697), lying beside a portrait of the composer and three other scores scattered beneath the instruments. Beneath the bassoon is a copy of the Fifth Book of John Hudgebutt’s Thesaurus Musicus (1696). What looks like a violin bow lies across the centre of the picture. A cello stands on the right hand side. However, the Purcell portrait itself is an engraving by R. White (1645–1704) after John Closterman’s portrait of Purcell (now in London’s National Portrait Gallery) which appears as the frontispiece to Orpheus Britannicus, the first volume of which was published in 1698. This work has formerly been attributed to Evert Collier (ca 1640–?1710), in error (Fred Meijer, Rijksbureau Kunsthistorische Documentatie, Den Haag, ex Pring loc. cit.) More recently, a possible attribution to Thomas Warrender (1662-c.1715) has been suggested (Woolley & Wallis, loc. cit.)
  • At the Dressing Table / Young Man with an Elegant Woman in an Interior, oil on panel, 37.5 × 43.5 cm, English. Zurich: Galerie Koller, Gemälde alter Meister, Gemälde des 19.  JH., Alte Graphik, Bücher, Skulpturen, 16 March 2005, Lot 3063. Ref. Bridgeman Art Library (2002: Image PFA109540, col.); Debra Pring (2007, pers. comm.); Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, illustration 24136 (2014, col.) A cobbler fits a shoe to a woman seated before a table on which there are a basin, a jug, scissors and jewellery. On a stool to the side of the table lies an open music book with a a duct flute (possibly a recorder). Formerly attributed to Evert Collier (ca 1640–?1710).
  • Musical Instruments (17th century), engraving, English. Private Collection. Ref. Bridgeman Art Library (2003: Image XJF105842). A room full of musical instruments. Some hang on the wall, some sit on a table, others are on the floor. They include triangle, bagpipe, drums, rattle, jew’s harp, psaltery, hammered dulcimer, shawm, cornetto, harp, clavichord, organ, cello, trumpet, xylophone, lute, and (on the table) a cylindrical pipe which could represent a recorder or flute. A caption in English and Latin (doubtless hinting at something very profound) reads:

Musical Instruments are
those that make a sound

Musica Instrumenta sunt
quæ edunt vocem.


  • Girl with a Flute (1625–1675), oil on canvas, 38.5 × 29.2 cm, Flemish. Huddersfield: Huddersfield Art Gallery, Inv. KLMUS:1573.1983. Ref. Website: BBC–Your Paintings (2014, col.); Website: Pinterest (2021-col.) Formerly attributed to Johannes Cornelisz. Verspronck (ca 1600/1603–1662), this small painting bears no resemblance to the work of this formal portrait painter. In style, it is much more akin to seventeenth-century Flemish painters such as Rubens or Jordaens. Its subject relates to the northern followers of Caravaggio, such as Terbruggen and Honthorst. Here, a buxom young woman with rouged cheeks plays an alto-sized hand-fluyt, the window/labium, and several finger holes of which are clearly depicted. Her fingering is impossibly wayward, though, so she is clearly not a musician. Her loose attire and the inclusion of the instrument here indicates an older profession.
  • Portrait of Man Holding Bagpipes a Guitar and a Recorder (ca 1640), oil on canvas, 71.1 × 57.8 cm, Franco-Flemish School. Location unknown: sold Sotheby’s, New York, Important Old Master Paintings, Sale NO8162, 26 January 2006, Lot 257. This was sold as Portrait of Man Holding Bagpipes A smiling man cradles in his arms a straw-covered wine-bottle and what is clearly a guitar – the ribbing of the vaulted back is visible, the gut frets can be clearly seen on the back of the neck, and the characteristic peg-box with 10 pegs extends over the man’s shoulder. In his right hand he clutches a beautifully depicted tenor recorder of baroque design. There are no bagpipes in this painting!
  • Man with a Flute and a Dog (1600–1640), oil on canvas, 119 × 99 cm, Flemish school. Carlisle: Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, CALMG:1889.26.2. A young man seated in a pastoral landscape with ruins in the distance, wears a broad-brimmed straw hat with red and white plumes, and plays a slender, alto-sized, slightly flared recorder while his dog sits beside him. Formerly attributed to Jan van Bijlert (1597/8–1671). Joachim Sandrarts in his Teutsche Academie, 1675, mentions that Van Bijlert was active in Italy for many years, yet not a single work of art by him from this period is known.
  • Organ case (1669), carved wood, Flemish. Detail. Bollezeele: Église Saint Wandrille. Ref. Website, flickr: groenling’s photostream (2016, col.) The church, dedicated to Notre-Dame de la Visitation, was finished in 1606. Its elaborately carved organ case and tribune date from 1669. The upper part of the organ case was subsequently widened by adding the outer two sections. The uppermost panels of the organ case are decorated with swags of musical instruments: on the left are double bass, viol, the bell of a ? shawm, and a bassoon; on the right are a cello, a viol, a ? shawm, a flute and the head of a recorder, the window and labium clearly visible.
  • Adoration of the Shepherds, oil on canvas, (? 17th century), Flemish. Grimbergen: Collection Pincket. Ref. Paris RIdIM (1999). Three shepherds visit the holy family. One offers a bowl of milk, a second prays, a third plays on his pipe, probably a duct flute (flageolet or recorder – no holes are shown). A fourth shepherd in a sort of turban (or a woman, perhaps) looks on. Above the scene is a wicker bird cage.
  • Mercury and Argus (17th century), canvas, 83 × 15 cm, Flemish. Location unknown: sold Hotel Rameau, Versailles, 7 June 1973. Ref. Paris RIdIM (1999). Seated beneath a tree, Argus leans against his staff watching over Io (whom Jupiter has turned into a heifer) as Mercury (dressed as an unkempt peasant in a wide-brimmed hat) lulls him to sleep playing a long conical pipe, possibly a recorder since all four fingers of his lower (right) hand are covering their holes.
  •   (17th century), oil on canvas, 65.0 × 57.5 cm, Flemish. Quimper: Musée des Beaux-Arts, Inv. 873-1-141. Ref. Joconde Website (1999). Bacchus in a grotto as a crowned nude boy, a satyr, putti, dancing, drinking glasses, gold-plate — and a duct flute. Not seen.
  • [Musical Gathering] (17th century), Flemish. Berlin: Kunsthistorisches Museum. Ref. Capri, in Fabbri (1952, 2: 101); Angelo Zaniol ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). Three men play music on lute, violin and a duct flute (probably a recorder, only the head of which is visible). A young woman crowns the lutenist with a wreath.
  • Musical Trophies (1654), carved wooden panels, Flemish. Antwerp: Sint-Paulus Kerk, organ case. Ref. Lyndon-Jones (1993, b&w). Panels on the front of the organ case have trophies, amongst them one depicting: curtal and harp; music book, shawm, recorder and violin; tambourine (with jingle rings), drum and recorder; book and lute. The case was completed in 1654 and repaired in 1824 (Lyndon-Jones, loc. cit.) 
  • Virgin and Saints (?17th century), Flemish. London: National Gallery. One of the angels plays a very clear recorder. Note by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm.), but which painting is meant?
  • Lattice-carved wood screen (?17th century), Flemish. Cockayne Hatley (Bedfordshire): Church of St John the Baptist, bell-tower chamber. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). ” … the work of Henry Cockayne Rust who was both Squire and Rector of Cockayne Hatley from 1806 in beautifying his church with antique woodcarvings that came on the market after Napoleon’s invasion of Flanders … The lattice carved wood screen in the bell-tower chamber is probably ecclesiastical in origin, and is probably Flemish ) and dated from around the last quarter of the 17th century. Dr Slater, the specialist on the Cockayne Hatley carvings, has discovered similar rails in a church in Leuven (Louvain). It has never been subjected to restoration … there are four panels with musical instruments in the trophy-like design of which three have recorders and oboes. One may have a second recorder, but the work is rather crude” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.)
  • Hearing, oil on canvas, Flemish. Katrineholm (Sweden): Ericsbergs Slott. RIdIM Stockholm ex Nordiska Museet, 195.J.q (2000); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). An allegory of hearing with musicians and instruments on a logia in front of some water with several swans, derived from Velvet Breughel, but with the instruments (some 30 in all) less well drawn. There are viols of various sizes, lute, flute, shawm (played by a monkey), and a white, small duct flute with a window/labium and five finger holes (all close together), expanding to a wide bell-end, but with no flare, and a fourth hole at the side of the instrument at the level of the 2nd finger hole. The latter is uncertain as a recorder. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (loc. cit.)
  • Still-life (17th century), Flemish. Ref. Website: Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2002, col.) On a draped ledge are a vase of flowers, a book, a document, an hour-glass and cylindrical alto recorder of which the beak, head, window/labium and first three finger holes are visible; the foot is occluded.
  • Oak cupboards (late 17th century), Flemish. St Omer: Musée Henri Dupuis, Flemish Kitchen. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2003). An exhibit abundant with Delft tiles and stained glass windows. In it there are two large cupboards, known as Ribbanken, with lavish oak carvings from the second half of the 17th century. The upper panels of the fronts of both cupboards depict dancing boys wearing peculiar square hats, and on the uprights there are other, naked figures. Several musical instruments are shown – transverse flute, shawm, bagpipe, cornetto and a duct flute, probably a recorder. The beak is short so the window/labium is positioned quite close to the player’s lips. It is alto sized, very slightly outwardly conical but with a sharply flared wide-rimmed bell-end. The boy grasps the instrument in both hands (left-hand lowermost) revealing only two finger holes below the left hand.
  • Musical Trophy (?1651–1700), relief sculpture in marble, a fireplace decoration, Flemish. Modave: Château de Modave, landing of the left stairway. Ref. Institute Royal du Patrimonie Artistique / Koninklijk Instituut voor hef Kunstpatrimonium (IRPA/KIK), Brussels, Object 10124439 (2007). A crudely carved trophy comprising a guitar crossed with some music, two unidentifiable wind-instruments (? flute and ? oboe), and a baroque recorder. Although partially hidden behind the guitar, the recorder is viewed side-on and the sculptor has gone to some trouble to show that the lowermost hole is offset.
  • Still-life with Musical Instruments (17th century), oil on canvas, 90 × 104 cm, Flemish. Cologne: Lempertz, Alte Kunst, 18 November 2006, Lot 1173. On a table beneath a tasselled drape, on a table covered with a dark cloth, lie scattered drinking glasses, an ornate goblet, shells, a box, a jewellery casket and jewellery, two ripe pomegranates, a flask from which bubbles are rising, a pewter plate, a long clay smoking pipe, books, papers, a cornetto and a soprano hand-fluyt, completely visible.
  • Piping Girl (17th century), oil on canvas, 82.3 × 62.2 cm, Flemish. New York: Sotheby’s Sale N08404: Important Old Master Paintings Including European Works of Art, 25 Jan 2008, Lot 297. A young woman in a burnt orange gown stands with her back to us playing a narrowly conical pipe with a pronounced foot. No details of fingering, beak or window/labium are visible, but this could represent a recorder.
  • Allegory of the Month of May, painting, Flemish. Locality unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Beneath the shade of some trees a group of men and women (one half-clad) desport themselves around a table. In an ornamental pond beside two putti sit astride swans and a third sits on a sea monster. Those on the swans play a violin and a pipe, possibly a recorder given the gallica database indexing. In the background a party is going on around some impressive-looking buildings. Above, a female personification of May is born aloft in a chariot towed by an obliging flock of birds.
  • Venus and Adonis (17th century), painting, Dutch. Location unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Venus and Adonis, resting on a tree-covered hillside, are entertained by a band of putti who dance and play bagpipe, cello and a duct flute (possibly a recorder).
  • Musical and Dancing Putti (1766–1769), oil on canvas (grisaille), 86 × 111 cm, Dutch. Middelburg: Private Collection. Ref. Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, illustration 95664 (2014, col.) Six putti amuse themselves: one plays a tambourine and one plays a clearly depicted hand-fluyt whilst the others dance.


  • Preparation of a Wedding Banquet in a Garden (ca 1600), tapestry, French. Ref. Salmen (1976: pl. 21). Amidst energetic preparations, two musicians hurry towards what appear to be the chief caterer and ? master of ceremonies: one holds a large bagpipe, the other a very long, cylindrical duct flute, probably a recorder.
  • Harpsichord decoration: Keyboard cover of Ruckers harpsichord (1628), decorated in France (late 17th century). Versailles: Château de Versailles, Cat. V2308. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 1999). The keyboard cover has a pipe and tambour. To the right, at the side, is a group of three putti (in their teens!) One sings with music; one plays a bass viol with a very unusual rose under the strings near the end of the fingerboard; another plays a duct flute (probably a soprano recorder), his right hand in position at the lower part of the instrument. The recorder-player’s left hand touches the hand of the violist who exchanges a smile with the singer, as if something had happened in their performance of the music.
  • Title Page: Les Pieces de Clavessin de Monsieur de Chambonnieres (1670), engraving, (? Lollain), French. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale. Ref. Early Music 21 (2): 191 (1993); Website: gallica (2014, b&w). Between a harpsichord and a virginals on table is an open music book. Above them two flying putti hold a banner with the title details. On a wall behind them hang musical instruments. On the right hang a lute and a cello. On the left is a swag comprising a shawm, a cornetto and a roll of paper; beside it is a guitar.  The recorder is  a cylindrical alto or tenor; several holes are visible and the mouth-piece is beak-shaped.
  • Recorder Player, for Moliere’s Proserpine (1671), drawing, French. Paris: Bibliotheque Nationale, Fonds Albert Pomme de Mirimonde. Collection de documents iconographiques. Boîte 14, Concerts France. II, Du Moyen âge au XVIIe siècle. Ref. Website: gallica, bibliothèque numérique (2012). Costume design from a character in Psyché (1671), a Tragédie et ballet composed by Molière and versified in collaboration with Pierre Corneille and Philippe Quinault with musical intermèdes by Jean-Baptiste Lully. In the fourth intermède Psyché descends to hell, where eight furies dance a ballet to celebrate the rage they have inspired in so sweet a goddess as Venus. Psyche passes in Charon’s boat with the box that Venus orders her to obtain from Proserpine. Here, a musician holds a tenor-sized recorder of slender profile with a large flared bell.
  • Le Concert Royal des Muses, from Almanach Royal (1671), published by Balthazar Moncornet, Paris, engraving, French. Ref. Mirimonde (1975, 1: 63); Rasmussen (1999, Tambourine); Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Few rulers in world history have commemorated themselves in as grand a manner as Louis XIV. This portrayal of the monarch was to be found in numerous paintings, sculptures, plays, dances, music, and the almanacs which diffused royal propaganda to the population at large. In this plate from the almanac for 1671 one of the Muses is crowned by a winged putto and given a scroll by Louis XIV as Apollo seated on a rock on top of a hillock in the forest. Down the slopes of the hillock, another Muse conducts six of her sisters who sing and play double bass, tambourine (with jingle rings), theorbo and a soprano duct flute (possibly a recorder, its outline clear enough). One of their number seems to be missing. At the foot of the hillock a richly dressed woman sitting amongst a pile of fruit, holding an enormous key in one hand and patting a lion’s head with the other represents Queen Marie-Thérèse. Opposite her is an old man sitting in front of what look like some bullrushes who is wearing a laurel wreath and holding a trident whilst leaning on an urn – this represents Neptune in his role as mover of major events and whose festival was held at the height of Summer. Louis XIV appeared in the roles of both Neptune and Apollo in Molière’s  Les Amants Magnifiques in February 1670, his last appearance on stage as a dancer.
  • Trophy with Musical Instruments (1675), wood carving, French. Guimiliau: Eglise Saint-Miliau, left side of the organ loft. Ref. Paris RIdIM (1999). A trophy comprising a violin, trumpet, marine trumpet and recorder crossed. The recorder is conical in profile, has a much expanded bell with paired holes for the lowermost finger on the foot-joint, and a clearly shown beak, though this seems to be back to front.
  • Trophy with Musical Instruments (1675), wood carving, French. Guimiliau: Eglise Saint-Miliau, on front panel of the positive organ. Ref. Paris RIdIM (1999). A trophy consisting of a book of music, an unusual-looking kit with many strings, and two conical recorders with much expanded bells similar to the above.
  • Poem for the Year 1643 (1679), ink & gouache on paper, French. Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Inv. Cod.gall. 36, Fol. 7 v. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, Mbs – H 521). Beneath a poem related to the year 1643 are two musical trophies each a mirror image of the other. Each includes a side drum and beaters, a trumpet, a kettledrum, a viol, a lute and a recorder, the latter crudely drawn.

Quand la Parque eut runie des Roys le plus Auguste,
Aimé de ses sujets eraint de ses enimia,
Que l’amour qui’il eut pour Themis.
… … …
LOVIS LE GRAND de qui les Dieux,
Nous ont acordé la naissance,
Pour la fortune de la Frances,
Recueux de ses ayeuls le Septre glorieux.

  • Frontispiece: Bellérophon (published by Ballard, 1680), engraving, French. Cambridge: University Library; Denton: University of North Texas, Music Library M1500 L95 B4. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2007). The head of a recorder can be seen among other instruments on each side of a cartouche bearing the title Bellérophon at the foot of the whole page, facing the title page of Lully’s opera livret, first performed in January 1679. Both groups have a drum in the centre with a muddle of other instruments sticking around; the recorder is on the right and is of renaissance or pre-baroque style, its extended beak suggesting a long windway.
  • Title Page: La fuite de roi à Angleterre, à trois instruments by Nicolas Dérosier (1689), Amsterdam. Ref. Archiv Moeck. Marginal decoration includes viol, lute, oboe, violin, guitar and an ornately decorated baroque three-piece recorder.
  • La Troupe Royale des Comédiens Ialiens, from Almanach Royal (1689), published by Balthazar Moncornet, Paris, engraving, French. Paris: Musée du Louvre, Rothschild Collection. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Few rulers in world history have commemorated themselves in as grand a manner as Louis XIV. This portrayal of the monarch was to be found in numerous paintings, sculptures, plays, dances, music, and the almanacs which diffused royal propaganda to the population at large. This plate from the almanac for 1689 depicts the Italian troupe of comedians, each of whom is named. Beneath the main picture are two decoratively framed depictions of scenes from their performances. The frame on the left includes a straight trumpet, a lyre and a flared-bell pipe which may represent a recorder. The frame on the right includes bagpipe, kettle-drum and syrinx.
  • Title page: Les Trio des Opera de Monsieur de Lully [sic.] published by Amédée le Chevalier, Amsterdam (1690), engraving, French. Ref. Blume (1949–1963, 8: 427–428); Angelo Zaniol ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). The title is surrounded by musical instruments, some held by angel-putti, including trumpets, violins, oboes, and a number of three-piece, baroque recorders of various sizes.
  • Concert Royal, from Almanac Royal (1693), published by Balthazar Moncornet, engraving, French. Location unknown Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Few rulers in world history have commemorated themselves in as grand a manner as Louis XIV. This portrayal of the monarch was to be found in numerous paintings, sculptures, plays, dances, music, and the almanacs which diffused royal propaganda to the population at large. In this plate from the almanac for 1693 musicians are grouped around a landscape painting and a sheet of music. Louis XIV himself plays guitar; another plays a violin, two sing and one plays a recorder seen in side profile but the characteristic beak and window/labium clearly visible. Opposite the King, Louis le Grand Dauphin wearing a helmet and cuirass conducts the music with what looks like a whip!
  • Lovers Giving a Serenade (1693), engraving, French. Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale. Ref. Pottier (1992: 15, pl. III); Pottier (1995: 126, pl. 1, b&w); Archiv Moeck; Website: gallica (2012, b&w). Two ladies on a balcony are serenaded by two wigged musicians playing a baroque recorder and guitar. A maid bids us be silent. A caption reads:

Ammants donnat une Sérénade
Ces dames belles au balcon
Ecoutant la sérénade
Que ces amants sans façon
Leurs donnent en amês d’aubade.

Lovers Giving a Serenade
These ladies on the balcony
Listen to the serenade
That these hapless lovers
Give them as an aubade.

  • Musical Trophy (1668–1695), carved wood, Luxeuil-les-Bains: Basilique St Pierre – St Paul. At the back of the Basilica stands a majestic organ which was commissioned by the Abbot Charles-Emmanuel de Bauffremont, a great lover of music. The case was built in 1617 by Jean Doguadec, a Breton woodworker. It was enlarged in 1685. Beneath the tribune, the lampe, built between 1668 and 1695 is in two parts. The upper part of the lampe comprises four powerful Atlanteans who appear to support the tribune. Between these three circular medallions depict David with his harp; Jesus holding out the keys to St Peter who is followed by St Paul; St Cecilia at the organ accompanying an angel playing a violin. The lower part of the lampe is in the shape of an acanthus leaf and features four musical trophies: at the centre-left, a perfectly depicted baroque recorder crossed with folded trumpet; at the centre-right, an oboe crossed with a straight trumpet; to the far left, a serpentine trumpet crossed with a ?mute cornetto; to the far right, a violin crossed with a straight trumpet. Finally, at the very bottom the diminutive figure of Atlas supports the entire thing on his shoulders.
  • Musical Angels (1699), frescoes, French. Albi: La Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement. Detail 1, Detail 2, Detail. 3. Ref. Website: Anges Musiciens (2010, col.) The Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement is one of 28 chapels on the perimeter of this large building which dates from 1282. One of its wall frescoes includes putti singing and playing harp, lute, violin and a pipe with a flared bell, possibly a recorder. A decorative ceiling fresco depicts putti playing straight and folded trumpets, pipe and tabor, flute, and a small flared-bell pipe, probably a recorder. In the middle of the ceiling Saint Cecilia presides over the music played by adult angels singing and playing straight trumpets, timbrel, etc.
  • Trophy (? 17th century), stone carving, French. Versailles: Château de Versailles, Grand Trianon, tympanum of window. Ref. Matte (2005, col.) An elaborate trophy with musettes, shawms, oboes and an alto and a basset recorder. Only the head and upper body of the alto recorder are visible, but its characteristic beak and window/labium are quite clear. The head of the basset is hidden behind an architrave, but its body, fontanelle and foot are clearly depicted.
  • Still-life with Musical Instruments (17th century), oil on canvas, 81.0 × 70.5 cm, ? French. Paris: Cité de la Musique, E.982.1.30. Ref. Gétreau (1988); Website: Cité de la Musique (2000). On a table lie scattered a viol, a renaissance-style recorder, music, books, fruit, and a glass vase.
  • L’Abreuvoir (17th century), 93 × 117 cm, after Le Nain, French. Paris: Musée du Louvre Inv. 6839. Ref. Joconde Website. As a man lifts the lid of a trough, a young girl dips a small bowl into the water, a sheep drinks, other farm animals look on. So too, do two women, one of whom points to a young boy playing a duct flute (possibly a recorder).
  • The Duke of Burgundy and his Court chasing Birds (17th century), after a late 15th-century miniature, French (Versailles).
  • Rococo Panel Emblematic of the Arts (17th century, carved wooden panel, French. Chicago: Art Institute, 1962.819. Ref. Ford (1987: #57). Seated on a throne, a crowned figure holds a caduceus. He is surrounded by putti, one working on sculpture of a bust, one measuring up the globe, one waving a piece of paper probably with his latest verse written on it, and two floating through the air carrying musical instruments. One of the flyers holds a harp, shawm and a fairly clearly depicted recorder seen in side profile; the other holds a lute, a viol a shawm and a curved horn.
  • ? Allegory of Air: ? Winter (? late 17th century), ? French. Ref. Bartsch (1954–1870, 9 Supplement, Andr. 1: 173/217). Marked bottom right “A.VI”. An ornate bellows which is feeding flames in a crucible is flanked by two eagles and surmounted by two winged putti who hold spears and whom are variously standing and sitting on piles of musical instruments including shawms, bagpipes, organetto, and trumpets. Another two winged putti are on each side; that on the right plays a small flared-bell pipe (shawm or duct flute). At the bottom right and left corners are trophies of musical instruments which include hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, horn, straight trumpet, fiddle lute, and a duct flute the beak, window/labium and several finger holes of which are visible, the foot hidden. Notes (in part) by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000).
  • Mercury and Argus (?17th century), painting on wood, French. Oiron (Deux-Sèvres): Château d’Oiron, Salle du Roi (Salle d’Armes), on the ceiling beams in the entrance to the room and the top of the central staircase. Ref. Matte & Matte (2001, col.) An oval medallion depicting Mercury & Argus. Mercury, wearing a red hat, sits at the foot of a tree; before him lies his caduceus; beside him is his sword. Io, as a white heifer, looks on, miserably. Argus listens, his many eyes are wide open. The flared-bell pipe with which Mercury serenades Argus is ambiguous: it could be a shawm, but it is rather more likely to represent a recorder: a shawm would hardly serve to send Argus to sleep!
  • [Piper] (17th century), painting on wood, 30 × 30 cm, French. Oiron (Deux-Sèvres): Château d’Orion, first floor, ceiling of the Galerie du Grand Ecuyer. Ref. Matte & Matte (2001, col.) One of a number of panels representing various musical instruments. The originals were done under the direction of Louis Gouffier (1575–1642), but were repainted c. 1950 par Mme Dorian. A shepherd with his back to us plays a cylindrical pipe, possibly a duct flute
  • Trophy (17th century), painted, French. Montauroux (Provence): Chapelle St Barthélemy. Ref. John Turner ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (2008). A crudely painted trophy in which a violin is crossed with a highly stylised duct flute (probably a recorder) above a score. The chapel ceiling and walls are covered with decorative panels a number of which depict musical trophies. The trophy with the recorder and violin can just be glimpsed in the image linked above to the left of the door centre-right.
  • Angel Orchestra, painting on wooden ceiling, 17th-century, France. Detail. Carnac: Église Saint Carnély, baptistry. Ref. Website: Anges Musiciens (2010, col.) On either side of a small organ angel musicians play viol, lute, violins, and harp. Perched on the top of the organ, another angel plays a flared-bell pipe, possibly a recorder.
  • Musical Angel, painting on wooden ceiling, 17th-century, France. Carnac: Église Saint Carnély, baptistry. Ref. Website: Anges Musiciens (2010, col.) An angel plays a slender pipe, possibly a recorder since all fingers of the lowermost (left) hand are covering their holes.
  • Musical Angel with a Recorder (17th century), carved & painted wood, French. Brélès: Église Notre-Dame. Ref. Website: Anges Musiciens (2010, col.) Nestled amongst the roof beams on top of a wooden corbel, a putto plays a recorder, left-hand uppermost. The beak, window/labium and flared foot are clearly represented and the fingers are perfectly disposed for recorder-playing. Other putti play bagpipe, shawm, drum and cymbals. The church dates from the 14th century but was rebuilt in the 17th century and largely rebuilt and enlarged in 1855.
  • Scène Galant (late 17th century), oil on canvas, 206 × 103 cm, French. Tournus: Hôtel Dieu – Musée Greuze, Inv. 82.1587. Ref. Website: Joconde (2011). A man seen three-quarters back wearing a brown cap and a fur cape holds in his right hand what looks like a cylindrical pipe towards a woman facing him who wears a brown woollen cape and holds a dove. With his left hand the man paws the woman’s breast. The top of the pipe appears to be beaked, and the man’s hand is depicted in perfect recorder-playing position, including the angle of the thumb.
  • Still-life (late 17th century), oil on canvas, 113 × 174 cm, French. London: Sotheby’s Sale L12308, 3 May 2012, Lot 14. From the collection at the London home of Prince and Princess Henry De la Tour d’Auvergne Lauranguais. A still life with various fruits in a basket and on a ledge, flowers in a vase, a lute, a violin and boy and a monkey with with a recorder. The fruit include apples, figs, grapes, melons, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates, pumpkins and quinces. The recorder is in one-piece tapering towards a slightly expanded foot; the beak, window/labium and seven finger holes clearly depicted. Some sheets of music are propped up against the bowl of the lute. In the lower left-hand corner a guinea-pig is nibbling at some olives.
  • Flute Player (late 17th or early 18th century), oil on wood, 41.3 × 32.3 cm, French. Dole: Musée des Beaux-arts, Inv. 365. Ref. Website: Joconde (2011). A young man in a feathered cap, elaborate shirt and jerkin leans on a table, playing a narrowly conical duct flute, probably a soprano recorder. On the table lie a music book, a small lute, and what may be a small flute or recorder. This work is unsigned; however, on the reverse the name ‘Wille’ is written in black ink, possibly referring to the artist.


  • Musical Angels (1600), organ case decoration, painted ?wood sculpture, German. Detail 1. Detail 2. Stellichte, Walsrode: Gutskapelle St Georg, organ case. The current organ, built by Jürgen Ahrend (1985–1986), is housed in the original case of the organ made by Andrew de Mare (1600) for the monastery at no Thedinga, later moved to the Gutskappelle in Stellichte by Marten de Mare (1610). Musical angels on each side of the case play a small transverse flute and a slender duct flute respectively.
  • Writing cabinet (ca 1600), intarsia, oak & maple, 28.9 × 36 × 24.4 cm, German. Munich: Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Inv. R 2571. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002, Mbnm – 530); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). On the inside of the lid a number of musical instruments are depicted: drum, viol, cornetto, lute, bagpipe and a flared-bell recorder, the beak and seven finger holes of which are clearly represented.
  • Title page: Modorum sacrorum … lib. secundus (1603), Christian Erbach (ca 1570–1635), published by Johannes Praetorius, Augsburg, print, German. Augsburg: Staats- und Stadtbibliothek. Ref. Fraenkel (1968: pl. 86); Website: ageFOTOSTOCK, INH-543781 (2013, col.) An elaborate decoration around the title panel includes angels above playing straight trumpets, lute, curtal, flute. Below men and women play violin, viol, virginals, lute, sackbut, dulcian and a narrow cylindrical duct flute (probably a recorder), the window/labium of which is just visible. Christian Erbach was a German composer.
  • Emblem Book: NUNC DVLCIOR FLVIT (1580–1604), ink & pencil, 28.5 × 21.0 cm, German. Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Inv. Cod. icon. 424. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002, Mbs – H 734); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002); Web-site: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum (2013, col.) Apollo (playing his lyre) and the Muses by the Hippocrene fountain on Mt Helicon with musical instruments, including two narrowly flared pipes (possibly recorders), violin, trumpet, crumhorn, viol, ?double bass. Pegasus strikes his hoof on Mt Helicon and the Hippocrene spring gushes forth.
  • Title page: Terpsichore prima (1618), Elias Holwein, published by Elias Holwen, Wolfenbüttel, wood engraving, German. Uppsala: Universitet, Bibliotek. Ref. Fraenkel (1968: pl. 91). The publisher, himself a noted wood engraver, may have designed the title page. Around the title and publication details are ornamental borders. On the left Apollo plays his lyre; on the right Pan plays a reed pipe with a flared bell. Above, is Parnassus where Pegasus and Mercury preside over the Muses who sing and play lute, viol, lyre, fiddle, a flared bell pipe (? shawm) and a slender cylindrical pipe (probably a recorder since all fingers of the lower-most hands seem to be employed, but no details of the window/labium are visible).
  • Title page: Frankfurt Liederbuch (1632), Ref. Archiv Moeck. Musicians are seated around a table playing transverse flute, lute and a pipe (almost certainly a recorder, judging by the little finger of the lowermost hand closing its hole).
  • Woman with a Recorder (1632), gouache on paper, German. Frankfurt am Main: Historisches Museum. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, Fhm – 192a. A woman with a recorder. Not seen.
  • Tombstone of Prince Moritz of Saxony (1553–1650), ink & watercolour on paper mounted on canvas, drawn & painted with quill and brush, 62.5 × 78 cm, German. Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Inv. Cod. icon. 208. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002, Mbs – H 584); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). Between rows of weapons, armor and tools are a large cylindrical drum with tension strap, two drums each with two sticks, a recorder, a shawm, a folded trumpet, a case for three wind instruments, and various unidentifiable sections of wind instruments. On the bottom are two timpani, along with arrows and the like. Not seen.
  • Funerary altar (p. 1676), German. Trier: Museum am Dom Trier. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). Enormous baroque funerary altar of Carl Kaspar von der Leyen (Archbishop of Trier 1652–1676). “On a pilaster to the left of the central arch which frames a large sculpted figure, are decorative swags of musical instruments with an orpharion (probably) crossing a tenor recorder. The mouthpiece and window/labium of the latter are very clear, but most of the body is hidden, so no finger holes are visible. The foot-end protrudes beneath, indicating a mainly cylindrical instrument with slight bell flare and wood thickening. In the same decoration are a tambourine and some unidentifiable parts of other wind instruments. That fact that this is an ‘old-style’ recorder in a state-of-the-art work suggests that even by 1676 (the earliest dating) the sculptor had not seen a Hotteterre-style baroque recorder. He may, however, have been copying long-established decorative patterns” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.)
  • Woodcarved frame of Portrait of Johann Adam Reincken, (17th century), German. Hamburg: Hamburgmuseum, Music Room. Ref. Favre (1990: 77, col.); Wikimedia Commons (2012, col.) Portrait of Adam Reinken (1623–1732), organist of the Katherinen Church Hamburg (whom J.S. Bach walked to Hamburg to hear), surrounded by a wood-carved frame with various musical instruments including viol, folded trumpet, violin, harp, organ, two lutes (one played by a putto), a bassoon (or dulcian) and two pipes (possibly recorders) protruding from behind the organ. Only the lower third of each of the latter is visible with four holes showing, the remainder being hidden by the organ. The pipe on the left has a turned Virdung-style foot and probably represents a recorder; that on the right has a flared bell and appears to be slightly curved. On the right of the frame there is a third pipe with less bell flare and two finger holes (the rest hidden behind a lute), and a mouthpiece which indicates that it is a cornetto.
  • Varii vesitus in picturis praesertim venetianorum et quorundam Italorum: Street Theatre with Musik (? early 17th century), pen & ink, 14.5 × 11.2 cm, German. Munich: Bayerische Nationalmuseum, Inv. Hs. 3659, Fol. 41 r. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002, Mbnm – 432); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). A manuscript picture book illustrating traditional dress styles in Venice and elsewhere in Italy. Amongst the illustrations is one depicting a make-shift stage with three actors. On the left is a quack doctor who holds high a flare; in the centre is a woman who plays a violin or fiddle; to the right is a man who plays a small duct flute (possibly a recorder). A caption reads Zarlatani montano in Bancho.
  • Key with carved handle (? 17th century), wrought iron, German. Munich: Bayerische Nationalmuseum, Inv. E 1172. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002, Mbnm – 472); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). The design of the key handle includes a tiny recorder-like instrument.
  • David With the Head of Goliath is Received by the City (17th century), oil on panel, 42 × 82.5 cm, German. Heidelberg: Kurpfälzisches Museum, Inv. L 28. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2002, HDkm – 53); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). David approaches on the left; on the right are four young women with recorder (or shawm), lute, triangle and tambourine. Women are rarely depicted playing shawms.
  • The Smoker: “Trahit sua quema voluptas” (17th century), German. Location unknown. Ref. Warburg Institute, London; Paris RIdIM (1999). A decadent youth in a striped military coat and a ridiculous feathered hat holds a clay pipe, his hand outstretched on a table on which are placed an oil lamp, a glass of beer, a shell, several metal boxes (?snuff, ?tobacco), and a recorder, only the lower half is visible showing four finger holes, including paired offset holes for the lowermost digit.
  • Ceramic figure (17th century), ? German. Aachen: Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, AAsm). Includes a recorder. Not seen.
  • ‘If I have beer, tobacco, cheese and brandy wine, I will play with vivacity until late at night’, etching, 17th century, German. Nuremberg: Germanisches Nationalmuseum. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Ngm – 908). Series of etchings on masquing themes, with instruments. At the right of this sheet is a recorder of alto/tenor size, with the above motto.
  • Painting on Music Room window shutters (17th century), German. Regensburg: Thurn und Taxis Zentralarchiv und Hofbibliothek. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Rtt – 11). A host of putti play many instruments, including two recorders. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 1999).
  • Textile design, (16–17th century), embroidered linen, ? German. Brunswick: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Inv. Spi 25. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, BSm – 547). Embroidered linen cover with two strips of lace, depicting two identical boys playing recorders. Not seen.
  • The Nativity (17th century), ink & watercolour on paper, 25 × 20 cm, German. Coburg: Kunstsammlungen der Veste, s.n. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Cv – 335). Primitive representation of the Nativity including angels in the clouds with music; singers with a songbook; a group of shepherds and angels at the left, one angel with a violin, one singing, another with a ? recorder. Not seen.
  • Untitled (17th century), drawing on paper, 48.0 × 32.5 cm, German. Coburg: Kunstsammlungen der Veste, s.n. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Cv – 343). A naked young man sits holding a small ? recorder in his outstretched hand. Not seen.
  • Musical Scene (17th century), ? German. Berlin: Archiv für Künst und Geschichte. Ref. CD cover: Thomas Morely … the First Booke of Ayres 1600, Telefunken, Das Alte Werk, Teldec LC 0366 (1970/1982, detail). A bearded man plays a theorbo; a younger man wearing a cuirass (breast plate) with his back to us plays a cello; A young boy plays duct flute (probably a recorder, though the lower part of the instrument including the player’s lowermost finger is hidden. Behind the boy, an elderly man nods off to sleep. To the right of the picture a woman looks at the musicians over her shoulder, somewhat disdainfully.
  • Allegory of Music, oil on paper, 20 × 16 cm, (17–18th century), German. Düsseldorf: Kunstmuseum, Inv. 2458. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, DÜk – 100). A primitive copy of an ? Italian original. A female figure representing Music holds a large lira da braccio. On the ground, are other instruments: bagpipes, cornetto, recorder, shawm and trumpet as well as sheet music. Not seen.
  • Minerva and the Muses (17th century), ink, watercolour & gouache, 50.8 × 37.4 cm, German. Cologne: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Inv. Z 225. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, KNwr – 228). At the source of the river Helicon to the right of the Castalian Fountain stands Minerva with her spear. To the left are the Muses: one with a small recorder in her hand, others playing lute, positive organ and violin, and one singing from a book. Fame hovers amongst the clouds above. In the foreground at the bottom left are a harp and a music book. Not seen.
  • Vanitas: Allegory of the Five Senses, oil on canvas, 52 × 66 cm, German (17th century). Dijon: Musée des Beaux-Arts, DG 2006-1. Ref. Website: Joconde (2011). A still-life comprising a perfectly depicted baroque recorder; playing cards, coins, and rings; a snuffbox; an ink-well and quills; a cylinder of wax, a coil of wick, a ? candle mould, a watch and a table denoting the time of sunrise and sunset for each day of the year.
  • Flute Player, oil on canvas, 50 × 66 cm, German (17th century). Lugano Galleria d’Arte Château Monestoy, Inv. 776. A shepherd sits leaning on one hand and holding a slender, flared-bell pipe (possibly a recorder) in his left. A second shepherd lies at the musician’s feet.
  • Swag of Musical Instruments, gilt plaster (Germany, 17th century). Bayreuth: Eremitage/Neues Schloss, Music Room. Ref. Website, flickr: faun070’s photostream (2017). A frame containing a double swag of musical instrument: the upper part comprising a baroque flute and recorder crossed with an open music book, connected by a tassel to a lower part comprising a violin & bow and an oboe crossed with leafy fronds. The recorder is perfectly depicted with details of the beak, window/labium and foot clearly visible. Dating back to the 13th century, the palace was redesigned in the 16th and 17th centuries; after damage suffered in World War II it was rebuilt in the 1950s.
  • A Young Man Playing the Flute (ca 1630), oil on panel, 90 × 72 cm, (Germany, 17th century). Bruges: Jean Moust, currently for sale (2022, col.) Copenhagen: Bruun Rasmussen, Traditionel Auktion 899, “Fine Art and Antiques, Lot 146, 1-4 December 2020. Before a table set with various smoking implements and a deck of cards, a young man in a slashed blue, white and grey jacket plays a tenor cylindrical recorder with a brass-sheathed beak and foot. Two young girls are listening in the right background. Another version of the same composition, from the Luigi Koelliker collection, was sold at Sotheby’s London in 2008, as by an unidentified Flemish or German painter, circa 1630. It is very similar to this painting, but it lacks the two girls at right. Jan Kosten from the RKD, The Hague, has in 2010 attributed that painting to Cecco del Caravaggio, he dates it circa 1625.
  • Frontispiece from Hector Mithob the Younger’s Psalmodia Christiana Ihr Christen Singet und Spielet dem Herrn … Printed by Erhard Berger, Bremen 1665. Rostock: Universitat Rostock (digitized); London: British Library (digitzed). Ref. Website: Wikipedia (2008, b&w); Website: Trombone Iconography (2017, b&w); Website: Lute Iconography, Image LI-2543 (2023, b&w). Conducted by their cantor (presumably Mithob himself) amidst the congregation, the choir and musicians in the balconies on either side and in the organ loft sing and play their instruments, including lutes, harp, cittern, double bass, viol, sigmoid trumpets, violin, organ, crumhorn, ?recorder, ?curtal, trombone and cornetto. The ‘recorder’ is cylindrical but otherwise featureless. Above them, King David, playing his harp, is followed by four Israelites playing curved rams horns and nakers who, in turn, lead two of their fellows carrying the Ark of the Covenant (the cover of which is ornamented with (golden) cherubim), followed by more musicians playing rams horns, lyre, violin, and shawm. In heaven, angels sing and play harps and curved horns in praise of the Lamb of God.


  • Musical Company (1601), oil on canvas, 110.5 × 135.5, Italian (Venetian school). Vienna: Palais Dorotheum,  auctioned 11 December 2018, Lot 136 (sold), and again on 19 December 2022, Lot 49. Ref. Sale Catalogue (2018); Website: Lute Iconography, Image LI-2325 (2023, col.), & LI-3196 (2023, col.) Three men and three woman, all beautifully dressed, sing and play music together. One of the men sings from a bass part book in one hand, the other on a cylindrical one-piece alto and a similar tenor recorder on a table in the foreground. The man beside him plays flute, and beside him in turn a third man plays a smaller recorder, only the head of which is visible. In the centre of the group, a woman plays the lute. Behind her, another woman sings from an alto part book, and to our right, a third woman also sings from a part book lying open on the table.  The inscription along the edge of the part book reads: AETATIS SVE ANO R XXXII * 1601. An attribution to Niccolò Frangipane (active 1563–1597) has been suggested by Prof. Bernard Aikema (University of Venice) for this painting dated 1601!
  • Harpsichord drop-board (1602), painting, Italian. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, Inv. 1333. Ref. Website: Stearns Collection (2007, col.) A harpsichord inscribed “Christoforus Rigunini, Firenze, A.D. 1602”. There are a few interesting images on the painted case. On the inside of the drop-board is an image of three monks, one playing a slender pipe (possibly a recorder), another a violin, and the last singing. An image of a music book is painted above a stand for the performer’s actual music, and the inside of the case has an image of seven putti dancing while a cherub (winged putto) plays a keyboard. An inscription along the jack rail bears the Latin inscription Corda mulcet tristia – “I soothe sad hearts.” This is the only instrument by Rigunini to have survived. It was purchased from Leopoldo Franciolini, a notorious forger of antique instruments. Thus neither instrument nor its decoration need be authentic.
  • Inducing the Nightingales to Sing (a. 1622), engraving illustrating Giovanni Pietro Olina’s Uccelliera, Italian. Location unknown: Sold by Heugel, Paris. Ref. Sale catalogue (detail); RIdIM (2000). Musicians play rather loud music for nightingales, including sackbut, viola da braccio, viol, lute, harpsichord or organ, cornetto, harp and (in the background) a shawm band which includes an instrument which looks very like a basset or bass recorder with a bocal and a ‘crowned’ cap but which is more probably a sordun.
  • Virginal lid decoration (1629), 150 × 48.5 cm, Italian (Bolognese). Detail. Sydney: Powerhouse Museum. Before an elaborate fountain, female musicians play cello, recorder (window/labium visible, four fingers of lowermost hand covering their holes), hurdy-gurdy and harp; a couple may be dancing.
  • Cover illustration, from Anonymous MS Tutto il bisognevole per sonar il flauto da 8 fori con practica et orecchia, Venice, (1630). Venice: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Cod. It. IV-486 (9838). Ref. Delius (1976); Heyghen (1995: 27). Shows a fully baroque style 3-piece recorder in f’ with baroque fingerings. Heyghen (loc. cit.) suggests that this may be dated from much later (1680 or 1730).
  • Adoration of the Shepherds (1630s), oil on canvas, 228.0 × 164.5 cm, Italian (Neapolitan). London: National Gallery, NG232. Ref. Website: National Gallery, London (2006, col.); Postcard: National Gallery (s. dat.: card 1204, col.) Mary shows the Christ-Child to the shepherds who have brought a fowl, some bread and other produce. A young lad in the bottom right corner plays an ambiguous cylindrical pipe. In the right background is the Annunciation to the Shepherds. This painting has been variously attributed to Murillo, Velázquez and Zurbarán, and to various Neapolitan painters of the early 17th century. It is first recorded in Seville in the 1770s and may be the work of a Sevillian painter.
  • Programme for funeral of Monteverdi, title page & dedicatory poems (1644), signed ‘I Decini’. Venice: Basilica di San Marco. Ref. Landon & Norwich (1991: 88). Includes a depiction of a flared- bell duct flute (flageolet or recorder) with five finger holes showing.
  • Dedicatory page: First book of Toccatas for Cembalo, Homage to Giralamo Frescobaldi (1637), engraving, Italian. Location unknown. Ref. Website: Lebrecht Music & Arts Photo Library (2007); Rye & Carrick (2007: 53, fig., b&w),; Website: Alamy (2019). An oval portrait of Frescobaldi with a dedicatory verse beneath and a border comprising putti and trophies of musical instruments. The latter include viol, organ pipes, shawms, bows, lysarden, and several pipes. One of the latter (top rhs) is clearly a recorder, the beak, window/labium and flared bell clearly depicted. Another on the opposite side appears to be a similar instrument viewed from behind, the beak depicted from the back.
  • Boy with a Flageolet (ca 1650), oil on canvas, 46.5 × 36.5 cm, Northern Italian. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, A113 (WA 1851.12). Ref. Harrison et al. (2004, col.); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2007); Whistler (2016, no. 88, pp. 267-268). A young lad half-turned towards us looks out obliquely out of the frame. He holds a one-piece flared-bell duct flute, almost certainly a recorder, although the hole for the little finger of the lowermost (right) hand is turned away from us and thus out of view. It is somewhat reminiscent of an etching by Glairon-Mondet (op. 1786-1801/5) entitled Le Flûteur, said to represent a painting by Caravaggio from the Galerie du Palais Royal collection, dispersed in 1798. However, the boy in this painting wears a hat and different clothing; his face is angled slightly differently, and he does not look directly at the viewer as does the boy in the print. The fingers on the upper hand are also placed slightly differently. This portrait has been variously attributed to Caravaggio, Piazzetta, Neapolitan or Spanish 17th-century artists, Louis Finson and different French or Flemish followers of Caravaggio. The museum’s catalogue (Harrison et al.) suggests that the subject of pensive musicians was especially popular in the circles of Angelo Caroselli (1585–1652) and Michelangelo Cerquozzi (1601-1660). However, these artists were active in Rome rather than northern Italy. A copy of this work, said to be by an anonymous 18th-century French artist, is noted in the Gabrius OMP database (see below).
  • Putti with Musical Instruments (ca 1650), Italian (Genoese). Location unknown: Sotheby’s (Amsterdam) Sale AM085, Old Masters Paintings, 14 May 2002, Lot 15 (sold). Ref. Sothebys’ Sale AM0845, Catalogue (2002: Lot 15, col.); Gabrius Databank (2007, col.) Five putti play on and around a table on which lies a violin. One holds a bowl which he shows to a companion; one holds a pewter jug; and one plays a soprano renaissance-style recorder with his left hand, the top three holes remaining open. On another table in the foreground lie a tambourine (with jingle rings) and a guitar lies on top of a book. A second recorder lies beside and slightly under the violin and bow, its finger holes clearly visible, including that off-set for the lowermost finger. A cello stands in the corner behind the putto with the jug.
  • Bacchante on a Barrel (1650), maiolica figurine (Italian). Urbino: Palazzo Ducale. Ref. Website, flickr: alessio bacci’s photostream (2017-col.) A young lad in a tunic and hat sits on top of a barrel and plays a recorder. Beside him at his feetis  a much smaller figure, similarly attired and also playing a recorder. In front of him a sheep grazes.
  • Still-life with Musical Instruments (17th century), North Italian. Location unknown: auctioned 18 December 2003 (unsold). Ref. Gabrius Databank (2007, col.) On a table lie scattered a globe, a candlestick and candle, books, music, a cabinet, two lutes, a violin, a cello, a guitar and a soprano-sized recorder viewed end-on.
  • Title page: Secondo Armonia Sacra Di Vari Motetti D’Antonio La Greca … Libro Prima Opera, printed by Giuseppe Bisagni, Palermo (1657). Ref. Early Music 26 (3): 471, fig. 2 b&w (1988). There are a number of flared-bell recorders in trophies on the right and left of the central coat of arms.
  • Trompe l’Oeil with Pages of Music and Recorder (1677), 91 × 65 cm, Italian. Location unknown: Sold Drouot 22 October 1973, Salle 10. Mes Couturier, Nicolay, Cat. No. 11. Ref. Sale catalogue; Paris RIdIM (2000). Depicts a wooden panel with a small shelf on which stand a variety of objects including an artist’s palette, brushes, a cup, a framed painting, and some sheets of music. Variously fastened to the panel above the shelf are a key, a drawing, a comb, an envelope, and a small flared-bell recorder, the window/labium and holes for seven fingers (including paired holes for the lowermost finger) are clearly visible.
  • Trophies (?ca 1670–1680), gilded wood, Italian. Venice: Santa Maria del Giglio [or ‘Zobenigo’], decoration above organ pipes. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). At the top left of the central pair of trophies, two alto recorders with strongly curved beaks are behind a viola and lute. In the lower right of each of the central pairs is an alto recorder partly hidden by a roll of paper. The recorders are shown as one-piece without joints, but have baroque moulding between the mouthpiece and the window/labium and near the foot. There is a strong bell-flare and the bore end opening is wide. Two lower finger holes are visible and two upper (only one upper on the right hand instrument). The organ case was designed by Vincezo Colombo. However, the festoons with musical instruments could possibly have been added later – they are stylistically mid-17th-century. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000).
  • Balcony decoration (after 1693), Italian. Ragusa, Sicily: Palazzo La Rocca. A balcony is supported by three ornamental brackets. On each side are two heads; in the middle a man playing a basset-sized duct flute, presumably a recorder, apparently blown via a bocal entering from the back of the head. This is reminiscent of the recorder-like instruments with extended blocks described by Stobart (1996) from Bolivia. Air to the windway is blown in from the side via a small mouthpiece. During the Renaissance, Sicily was part of the Kingdom of Aragon, so the Iberian connection is strong. This type of recorder may have persisted in Sicily until the period of the baroque rebuilding of Ragusa after the destruction of the 1693 earthquake. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000).
  • Flute Player (early 17th century), Italian. London: Friedburg Collection. Ref. Waddingham (1958: 69); Marijke C. de Kinkelder to Dr Herman Moeck (1997); Paris RIdIM (1999); Website: gallica (2012, b&w). A soulful young lad holds a slim cylindrical recorder, one of the offset little-finger holes for the lowermost hand clearly visible. Formerly considered variously as a work by Michael Sweerts (1624-1664) or by Gerrit Willemsz. Horst, but now thought to be that of a hitherto unidentified Italian artist. There is another version of this in the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Brunswick.
  • Flute Player (early 17th century), oil on panel, 31 × 41 cm, Italian. Brunswick: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Inv. No. 175. Ref. Advertisement for Moeck Instruments, Recorder & Music 5 (11): 375 (1977) and elsewhere; letter: Marijke C. de Kinkelder to Dr Hermann Moeck (1997); Moeck, Celle: TIBIA – Musikbilder auf Postkarten, Series 7, Nr. 4, ed. Moeck Nr. 1107 (col.); Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (DISKUS-Objekt-Dokument 00011473, b&w); Munich RIdIM (2009, BSm – 102). A soulful young lad holds a slim cylindrical recorder. Formerly considered variously as a work by Hendrick Terbrugghen or by Gerard Honthorst possibly after an original by Murillo, but now thought to be that of a hitherto unidentified Italian artist. There is another version of this in the Friedburg Collection, London.
  • Apollo as a Shepherd with a Flute (mid-17th century), Italian. Modena: Museo Civico di Arte di Modena, Inv. 61. Ref. Marchi & Zeri (1997: 381, col.); Paulo Biordi (pers. comm., 2002). A youthful shepherd in an orange-sleeved jacket and a fur jerkin plays a cylindrical duct flute with a slightly flared bell. His fingers are clumsily arrayed showing one open finger hole and another partially vented. The little finger of his lowermost (right) hand appears to be covering its hole, so this almost certainly represents a recorder.
  • Musicians, drawing, (? early 17th century), Italian (Bolognese). London: Victoria & Albert Museum. Ref. Visual Collection, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University, 372d.It117.90[m] (2002); Rasmussen (2002, Lute). “A woman plays a lute (it looks as though she is fingering a harmonic) and a man holds a recorder (pausing). A boy holds up a (music?) book. There is an unplayed violin/viola” (Rasmussen, loc. cit.)
  • Allegory of Painting in a Wreath of Flowers AND Allegory of Music in a Wreath of Flowers (17th century), painting, Italian (Florentine). Location unknown: Auctioned by Étude Tajan, 23 June 1999 (sold). Ref. Website: Gabrius DataBank, OMP (2002, col.) Companion paintings. Painting is depicted as a young man with a pack on his back and a palette in his hand. Music is a young woman holding a recorder over her shoulder. Only the body and slightly flared foot of the instrument are visible, but the latter is very distinctive with a decorative bead. Two or three finger holes are visible, but the lowermost are covered by Music’s hand. Both figures are surrounded by flowers.
  • Floral Garlands with Musicians (17th century), oil on canvas, each 100 × 74 cm, Italian (Neopolitan School). London: Sotheby’s Sale L0837: Old Master Paintings, Lot 269, 4 December 2008. Ref. Sotheby’s Sale Catalogue LO837 (2008). A pendant pair depicting a male and female musician surrounded by floral garlands. In one, an elderly woman holds a tambourine (with jingle rings); in the other, a man holds a recorder, only the upper part of which is visible, the beak and window/labium clearly depicted. These have previously been attributed to Luca Giordano (1634-1705).
  • St Cecilia (17th century), Italian (Bologna School). Termini Imerese (Sicily): Museo Civico “Baldassare Romano”. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). St Cecilia plays the harpsichord with angels around; one sings, one plays cello and another angel on the left of the picture holds a slightly conical wind instrument to his left as he watches St Cecilia. The wind instrument is of alto/tenor size with a slight bell flare (wood thickening). It is played left hand uppermost, all fingers down. The right hand is held with the upper two fingers down but the lower two slightly lifted showing two holes beneath them, and lower down two further finger holes are just discernible. This is possibly intended to represent a recorder.
  • Mercury and Argus (17th century), charcoal drawing, Italian. Ref. Warburg Institute, London (Halkham portfolio); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). Mercury beheads the sleeping Argus with a sword held in his right hand. In his left hand he holds what appears to be a tenor-size recorder of cylindrical profile with a flared bell. Io (as a heifer) watches from one side.
  • Concerto, (17th century), Venetian School. Milan: Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Depicts seven musicians – two singers, lute, viola or tenor viol, rebec, and two recorders. A young man at the bottom left plays a tenor recorder with fingers and thumb in characteristic playing position; the beak is clear, but the window/labium is uncertain; the bell is abruptly flared. An older man at the top right also plays a recorder the window/labium of which is clear; his left (upper) hand is in playing position; the lower part of the (tenor or alto) instrument is hidden. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm.)
  • Apollo and Marsyas (17th century), Italian. Milan: Castello Sforzesco. Shows the head of a duct flute (probably a recorder) with a very clear window/labium, but no more. At the bottom of the painting is a broken timbrel, a violin, a flute, and the scroll end of another violin. There is a viola behind the duct flute. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm.)
  • Mercury and Argus (17th century), oil on canvas, 114.3 × 174.4 cm, Italian (Venetian). Caen: Musée des Beaux-Artes, Inv. 9. Ref. Joconde Website (1999). Depicts Mercury with a duct flute (flageolet or recorder), Argus sleeping, and Io (whom Jupiter has turned into a heifer). Formerly attributed to Bernardo Strozzi. Not seen.
  • Mercury, Argus and Io (17th century), embossed gold oval plate, 47.0 × 38.5 cm, Italian (Venice). Location unknown: exhibited as “Scene Champetre” at the Biennale des Antiquaires, Florence 1971, Casa d’Arte Anti ta’ di Mazzoleni Gianfranco, via Montenapoleone, 22, Milan. Ref. Catalogue (1971: 207, photo.); RIdIM (2000). A border of leaves and flowers surrounds what is clearly a scene depicting Argus lulled to sleep by Mercury who plays a cylindrical pipe (possibly a recorder, though he plays one-handed), watched by Io (whom Jupiter has turned into a heifer).
  • Bacchanal (17th century), Italian. Berlin: Kupferstichkabinett (West). Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Bkk – 586). Satyrs and nymphs indulge themselves in an orgy of eating, drinking and lust. One of the nymphs plays a lute; a small child plays a flared-bell recorder, another eats a bunch of grapes. The erotic symbolism of the two instruments is clear enough.
  • Polyphemus (17th century), Italian. Berlin: Gemäldegalerie, 1809. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Bgd – 64). The Cyclops Polyphemus sits with his feet in the harbour full of (comparatively) little boats, playing a flared-bell recorder to the nymph Galatea who sits on an island. The mouthpiece of the recorder appears to be covered with a metal sleeve.
  • Musical Angels (17th century), oil on panel, left panel 71.0 × 50.0 cm, right panel 73.0 × 48.5 cm, Italian (Florentine). Location unknown: auctioned Sotheby’s (Milan), Sale MI0220, Old Master Paintings, 2 December 2003, Lot 10 (unsold); auctioned 01/06/2004 (unsold). Ref. Sotheby’s Sale MI0220, Catalogue Old Masters Paintings (2003: Lot 10); Gabrius Databank (2007, col.) Two irregularly octagonal panels. On the left an angel plays violin; on the right a winged putto plays a very slightly conical recorder. The window/labium is clearly visible and the players hands well disposed for recorder playing.
  • Still-life with Flowers, Apples, Figs, Fowl and Musical Instruments (17th century), Italian (Lombard). Location unknown: auctioned Sotheby’s (Milan), Sale MI0220, Old Master Paintings, 2 December 2003, Lot 115 (unsold). Ref. Sotheby’s Sale MI0220, Catalogue Old Masters Paintings (2003: Lot 115); Gabrius Databank (2007, col.) On the ground are scattered an elaborate desk with shelves and drawers; two vases of wilting flowers; an owl (on an elaborate perch), a peacock and a guinea-hen; figs and apples; a book; a lute, and an alto-sized renaissance-style recorder with a slightly flared bell. A fourth bird sits in a tree to the right. A town can be seen in the background.
  • Study of Three Children, oil on panel, 27.5 × 41.0 cm, Italian (Lombardy). Private Collection. Ref. Sotheby’s (London), Old Masters Paintings Day Sale, L09634, 9 July 2009, Lot 149. Heads of three boys, one playing a duct flute (probably a recorder) of which the beak and window/labium are clearly depicted. Only the upper part of the instrument can be seen.
  • Mercury and Argus (late 17th century), Italian (Genovese). Milan: Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Mercury holds a small duct flute (seen obliquely from below), the mouthpiece and offset little finger hole of which are shown. The bell is considerably flared. Mercury has lulled Argus to sleep, and with the recorder in his left hands draws his dagger from behind him with his right. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm.) The same subject – always showing Mercury (Hermes) with a recorder – was painted by other artists including Jacob van Campen, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Claude Gellée, Jacob I. Jordaens (Melbourne), Johann Carl Loth, Pier Francesco Mola, Nicolas Poussin, Salvator Rosa, Sir Peter Paul Rubens, and Anon. (Caen).
  • Woodcarved, gilded angels, (17th century), Italian. Parma: Palazzo della Pilotta, Galleria Nazionale. The angel at the top, centre holds a viol at each side, with two others behind. On the right is a shawm and two flutes. On the left is a bow, a cornetto and a very clear recorder the beak and window/labium of which are clearly shown, though the lower part is hidden. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm.)
  • Plaster decoration (17th century), Italian. Cremona: Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, Capella di Sant Ombono Tucenghi (N of high altar). On the top left. of the pillar on the right a transverse flute and a duct flute are crossed and tied with a ribbon. The mouthpiece and window of the duct flute are clearly depicted, but the lower part is covered by the windings of the ribbon which also covers the lower part of the flute. The Chapel on the S side of the high altar contains many carvings on pilasters, but no clear duct flute. One instrument divides into two halves with two holes in each section. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm.)
  • Title page: Nuova Pifferata del Valorosa Barba Pedana by Antonio Baolino, published by Bartolomeo Cochi, Bologna (17th century). Venice: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Misc. 2183. 5 Ref. Il Flauto Dolce 7: 19 (1976); Archiv Moeck; Angelo Zaniol ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). A smiling man in a feathered hat holds a cylindrical duct flute (flageolet or recorder) of which the bottom five finger holes are visible.
  • Putti Musicians (17th century), canvas, 91.5 × 67.0 cm, school of Caravaggio, Italian. Location unknown: offered for sale, Marc-Arthur Kohn – Druout, Montaigne, Thursday 29 April, 1998. Ref. Paris RIdIM (2000). Three putti play musical instruments, one a ? cornetto, one a violin and one (centre) a pipe. The latter widens markedly towards the bell, and three finger holes are visible; but there is no sign of a window/labium. The context suggests a duct flute rather than a shawm.
  • Young Musicians (17th century), oil on canvas, Italian. Ref. Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2002, col.) Three children stand in a close circle. One (with his back to us) plays a cylindrical pipe, the first three fingers of his uppermost (right) hand and the second and third fingers of his lowermost hand covering their holes. His lowermost little finger is held very high and its open hole is clearly visible, thus this may represent a recorder, though details of the beak and window/labium are not visible.
  • Le Zephir (17th century), canvas, 76.5 × 64.5 cm, school of Bologna. Location unknown: sold Palais des Congres, Versailles, 24-25 November 1968, Cat. No. 115. Ref. RIdIM (2000). A youthful figure with a winged helmet (surely Mercury rather than Le Zephir) holds a cylindrical duct flute (flageolet or recorder), only the upper half of which is visible including a clear window/labium.
  • The Concert (17th century), canvas, 81.5 × 72.0 cm, school of Genoa. Location unknown: sold Marc Arthur Kohn – Druout, Richelieu, Salles 5 & 6, Thursday 6 July 1995. Ref. Sale catalogue; Paris RIdIM (2000). A man plays with his back to us, wearing a jacket with slashed sleeves and an elaborate slashed collar as well as a feathered hat, plays a guitar whilst a young woman sings from a sheet of music; they are accompanied by a very young boy who plays a slender, cylindrical duct flute (flageolet or recorder) the window/labium and three lower finger holes of which are clearly depicted.
  • Family of Satyrs (16-17th century), red ink on paper, 29.2 × 39.9 cm, ? Italian. Düsseldorf: Kunstmuseum, Inv. FP 10173. Ref. Munich RIdIM (1999, Dük – 647). A recumbent satyr blows on a syrinx. In the back of his coat he has a recorder. Not seen.
  • Mercury and Argus (17th century), ink and brown wash on paper, 14.6 × 12.2 cm, Italian. Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Inv. No. 295-1844. Ref. Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (2002: DISKUS-Objekt-Dokument 02020940, b&w). Argus plays a conical pipe (possibly a recorder) to a drowsily Argus, watched by Io (as a heifer).
  • Claudio Monteverdi with Musicians (17th century), Italian or Flemish. Bergamo: Antiquario Attilio Rossi. Ref. Santoro (1968); Angelo Zaniol ex Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). Four well-dressed musicians (two with ruffs, two with lace collars) stand behind a table, one holds a cello. On the table a small dog stands on top of a heap of instruments and music. There is a trumpet, a violin, a shawm and a flared-bell alto recorder of which the beak, window/labium, and bottom four finger holes are visible, the centre of the body being covered by an open music book. Lying across the shawm is a smaller soprano recorder of similar construction. Despite the title and date given above, the costumes of the four men look decidedly Flemish rather than Italian.
  • Allegory of Music (17th century), oil on canvas, Italian (Venetian). Ref. Gabrius Data Bank, OMP (2002, col.) A young woman viewed three-quarter-length, turns towards us holding a slender cylindrical pipe as if about to play it. There may be the hint of a window/labium near the player’s mouth, but this could represent the embouchure hole of a flute. However, all fingers of the player’s lowermost (right) hand are covering their holes and the little finger appears to be covering an offset hole, which makes a recorder more likely. The first two fingers of the uppermost hand are covering their holes with the third finger elevated and the little finger lifted very high.
  • Still-life with Musical Instruments (late 17th century), oil on canvas, 102 × 128 cm, Italian (Bergamo). Milan: Private Collection; offered for sale by Bigli (2003). Ref. Bigli Art Broker (2003, col.); Website: (2007, col.) Beneath a drape, a harp leans against a table on which are music scores, a basket of flowers, a violin, a guitar, and two recorders tapering, flared-bell recorders of soprano and alto size. Behind, on a shelf are two marble spheres, books, and an ink-well.
  • Landscape with Shepherds and Cattle (late 17th century), oil on canvas, 49 × 64 cm, Italian. Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, NM 63. Ref. RIdIM, Stockholm (2000); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). Watched by their sheep, two shepherds amuse themselves. One, standing beneath a tree, plays a conical duct flute (flageolet or recorder), the hand position (right hand uppermost) suggests a recorder, but no finger holes are visible. Notes by Rowland-Jones (loc. cit.)
  • Recorder (17th century), white marble sculpture, Italian. Modena: Galleria Estense. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). “An actual recorder, cantus size, but made of exquisitely dappled brown and white marble. It looks real but is almost certainly unplayable. There are six finger holes in line and one well offset to the player’s right. It has considerable bore flare, reflected in the external bell flare (no thickening). The windway and window/labium are perfectly formed. There is a crack at finger hole four and another between holes one and two. The museum also possesses splendid and realistic replicas of a guitar in black and white layered Carrara marble; and a marble violin complete with its strings – but no bow!” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.) Note that there is a fully functional baroque style recorder made of white marble in the collection of the Cité de la Musique, Paris (E.652), a unique instrument.
  • Carved wood frieze (17th century), Italian. Rome: San Andrea in Valle, balcony of organ gallery. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). Frolicking putti and crossed-instrument decorations, including at centre a shawm crossed with a ? recorder behind panpipes. Only part of the head and bell end of the alto/tenor ? recorder are visible. It has a longish beaked mouthpiece and a hole representing the window/labium. The bell end is fairly wide; no finger holes are visible. The carver is unknown. The church as a whole was designed by Carlo Maderno and decorated by Domenichino.
  • Singer with Recorder, oil on canvas, 102 × 73 cm, imitator of Giorgione (17th century). Rome: Galleria Borghese, Inv. 130. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). A half-length of a singer holding a tenor recorder in his left hand, upright (the instrument runs vertically down the left side of the painting). You can only see as far as the fifth finger hole as the rest of the instrument is hidden by the singer’s hand and sleeve across the bottom of the picture, but the beaked mouthpiece, and window/labium are unmistakable. The recorder is cylindrical up to the point where it becomes hidden.
  • Assumption of Mary (17th century), ink, pencil & watercolour on paper, 15.0 × 21.8 cm, Italian. Düsseldorf: Kunstmuseum, Inv. FP 217. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, DÜk – 500). Copy of a painting in Dresden. Mary is accompanied by angels who sing and play violin and recorder. Not seen.
  • Allegory of Music (17th century), ink & watercolour on paper, 11.0 × 14.9 cm, Italian. Düsseldorf: Kunstmuseum, Inv. FP 762. Ref. Munich RIdIM (2009, DÜk – 507). A garlanded woman holds in her outstretched left hand a sheet of music. In her right hand is a double flute or aulos. On the ground lies a syrinx and a shawm or recorder. Not seen.
  • Seated Woman with a Recorder and a Tambourine (late 17th century), drawing on paper, Italian. Paris: Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques, Inv. 16408, Recto. A woman half-reclining plays a tambourine (with jingle rings). On the ground by her side lies a slightly flared duct flute, probably a recorder.
  • Man Playing a Flute Leaning Against a Wall (late 17th century), drawing on paper, Italian. Paris: Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques, Inv. 17753, Recto. A naked man leans against a wall playing a very small flared pipe, probably a duct flute (flageolet or recorder).
  • Still-life with Musical Instruments (17th century), oil on panel, 81.5 × 131.0 cm, Italian (Lombardy). Vienna: Palais Dorotheum, Old Master Paintings 9 April 2014, Lot 835. On a table covered with a soft black cloth are an hour-glass, a small circular box and lid containing a paste of some kind (?rosin), a book, an open music part-book (legible), a rolled music score, a dancing master’s kit in a leather case, a violin, and bow, and a soprano and alto baroque recorders. The alto is made of a pale wood, the soprano is in ebony or ebonised wood with ivory beak and mounts.
  • Mercury and Argus (early 17th century), oil on canvas, 110.2 × 146.7 cm, Italian (Roman School). London: Christies, Old Masters and British Paintings, 4 December 2012, Lot 6. Ref. Website: Quest for Beauty (2020, col.) Playing a perfectly depicted recorder (one-handed), Mercury leans over a sleeping Argus. Viewed side-on, the one-pieced recorder is of soprano size with details of the beak, window/labium and slightly foot with incised decorative rings clearly visible. The naturalism and lighting of the composition, which can be dated to the early part of the 17th century, might indicate a Caravaggesque influence, possibly the hand of a northern artist working in Rome at the time, when the city was home to many Dutch, Flemish and French artists.
  • Flute Player, oil on canvas, 66 × 51 cm, Italian (Venetian School). Milan: Cambi Casa d’Aste, Lot 159 (2021). A young man in a red jerkin, a rose in his hat, holds a soprano baroque recorder, the beak and window-labium clearly depicted.
  • Musical Company (17th century), pen & brown ink on paper, 18.8 × 29.3 cm, Italian. Paris: Christies, Auction Commander Paul-Louis Weiller …, 16 September 2020, Lot 238. Ref. Website: Lute Iconography, Image 3162 (2023, col.) Around a table a man plays lute, and three women play a slightly flared pipe, a spinet and an ornate cello. The pipe lacks details but probably represents a recorder.


  • Ceiling decoration (1676), fresco, Portugal. Óbidos: Igreja de Santa Maria, Oratório Nossa Senhora da Piedade. Ref. Webpage: Dulcian Iconography (2008, col.) Putti play all manner of musical instruments, including dulcian, flute, lute, and ? guitar. No less than six of them play vertically held wind instruments, four of which may represent recorders.


  • Nativity, icon, (late 17th century), Russian. Museum am Dom Trier. Ref. Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2002). Fourth in a series of icons recently bequeathed to the museum by Bishop Gerhard Jacob. A “Nativity in standard Greek Orthodox format with annunciation to the shepherds at the upper right. A standing shepherd has a long pipe (tenor size or more) at his lips, at an angle of about 40° down, supported near the bell end with his right hand (he holds up his left hand in salutation). The pipe, which has no visible details, is very slightly conical, with no flare, but the bore exit hole is small (wood thickening). The player’s lips are too relaxed for shawm or cornetto playing, so this is likely to represent a duct flute” (Rowland-Jones, loc. cit.)


  • Putto Making Music (17th century), wood-carving on pew, Swedish. Markim: Markims kyrka, Choir. Ref. RIdIM, Stockholm (2000); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2000). A man stands on a plinth playing an ambiguous pipe (cornetto, shawm or duct flute), the bottom part of which is destroyed. The mouthpiece is flat with no beak and the lips are held together so this could be a shawm. However, incisions below the mouthpiece almost certainly represent the window/labium of a duct flute. The body is wide and cylindrical. This could easily be a recorder. Notes by Rowland-Jones (loc. cit.)
  • Flute Player in Oriental Costume, gouache and water colour, oval: 10 × 8 cm (late 17th century). Stockholm: Nationalmuseum, Dahlgrens Collection, No. 1588. Ref. RIdIM, Stockholm (2000); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. com, 2000). A man sits, holding in one hand an open music score, in the other a clearly depicted ivory alto recorder with decorative incisions above the window/labium, three above and three below, paired little finger holes near the flared bell end, and two groups of incised rings below the bottom the lowermost finger holes. Notes by Anthony Rowland-Jones (loc. cit.)


  • Allegory of Foreign Military Service (1623), stained glass roundel, Swiss. Zürich: Landesmuseums, LM 20548. Ref. Schneider (1971, 2: no. 521); Rasmussen (2002, Lute). “Includes, among the attributes of ‘Voluptas’, a harp, a lute and a ? recorder” (Rasmussen, loc. cit.)
  • Gestitliche-Seelen-Music, Title Page: A Swiss Collegium Musicum (1694), engraving (Swiss. Ref. Kintzel (2010: 116, fig. 2, b&w). A group of 8 hatless (and thus amateur) musicians sit around a table, all have music books either in their hands or on the table in front of them. One plays a cornetto, one a sackbut, one a violin and one a cello. On the table lie a violin and a recorder of tenor length. The latter is in one piece with a flared bell; its window/labium finger holes more or less clearly depicted. The remainder are probably singers. One of the latter (older than the rest and the only one with a beard) appears to be keeping time with one hand.
  • Green enamelled stove (? late 17th century), Swiss. Geneva: Musée de l’Art et Histoire. Ref. Jan Bouterse to Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). Made in Winterthur, originally from Schloss Zizerts. The walls of the stove are decorated with women playing musical instruments including lute, transverse flute, organ, and a pipe which could be an oboe but seems more likely to represent a late baroque-style tenor recorder with its characteristic curved beak, fontanelle and strongly flared bell. Thick enamelled metal is a poor medium for detailing.

Provenance unknown

  • Lady in a Landscape with Castle, Flowers, Animals, etc. (ca 1650), embroidered textile, 27 × 30 cm, artist & provenance unknown. Cambridge: Storm Fine Arts (for sale, 2007). A lady in landscape with with a castle, surrounded by flowers, animals, a man with a hunting horn, a man milking a cow, and a man playing a flared-bell pipe (possibly a recorder) with a dancing dog.
  • Concerto da Camera (c.1615), oil on canvas, 128.0 × 161.5 cm, French or Italian. Milan: Christies, Sale 2498, 29 November 2006, Lot 96. Ref. Website: Lute Iconography, Image LI-2682 (2023, col.) Around a table, five men and a young woman sing from open part books. One of the men plays a bass viol. On table are a lute and a soprano recorder of tapering profile. Only five fingerholes are visible, but details of the window/labium are clearly depicted.
  • Flautist (17th century), engraving. Ref. Website: Fotógrafos Oronoz, 096317 (2011). A man reclining in a chair plays a large tenor recorder of baroque design with a curiously bulbous beak.
  • [Musical Gathering] (? 17th century). Ref. Record Cover: English Recorder Music, Hans Martin Linde (recorder), Ragossnig (lute), Scheidegger (viol), EMI Digital LP 27 0404 1. A female singer is accompanied by musicians playing violin, lute, viol and a young boy playing a small cylindrical duct flute (probably a recorder since the thumb position is shown in profile), only the upper part of which is visible.
  • Trophy, print (?17th century). Ref. CD Catalogue, Dorchester, Dorset (Summer 2001: 2, fig.); Anthony Rowland-Jones (pers. comm., 2001). An open music score with lute, violin, trumpets and/or shawms and a baroque-style recorder with its characteristically curved beak and turnings.
  • Musical Gathering in a Park (? 17th century), painting, artist and provenance unknown. Location unknown. Ref. Website: gallica (2012, b&w). In a park and elegant company walk the walk, talk the talk and listen to music provided by a lutenist, a violinist and a piper whose instrument is largely hidden by the violin. A couple stands behind them. Since there is the hint of a window/labium the pipe is likely to represent a recorder.

Cite this article as: Nicholas S. Lander. 1996–2024. Recorder Home Page: Anonymous: 17th century. Last accessed 14 July 2024.