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A rare Queen Anne period spinet attributed to Francis Coston, the shaped case with lifting top veneered and cross banded with walnut, with shaped brass mounts, on its original turned stand with stretcher, the keyboard in ebony and ivory.Height with lid closed: 32½ in (82.5 cm)The word spinet is derived from the Italian spinetta, which itself is derived from spina, thorn, for the plucking quills of the mechanism are like thorns rather than the leather or metal plectra which had been used earlier. "Bentside" spinets were popular in England as they were small, easier to maintain than harpsichords and yet produced a powerful tone. They had one set of strings plucked by crow quills.
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