||This is a picture of a late 16th / early 17th century cittern that
went up for auction at Christie's of London, July 8, 1999. The cittern's back and
sides are made of one piece, and the back is intricately carved with pictures of lions
and a coat-of-arms (possibly those of Duke Francesco Maria I of Urbino).
The butt ends in a comb and is decorated with another coat-of-arms.
The fingerboard contains 18 brass frets (6 of them partial) and appears to be diatonically
fretted. The side of the neck is
inscribed: "Franciscus Citared. Urb." "Citared." is most probably an abbreviation
for "Citaraedus," which might mean either "cittern player" or "cittern maker." "Urb."
is most likely an abbreviation for "Urbino."
Christie's estimated the price of this instrument as US$4,900-6,500.