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Edwin M. Ripin

revised by Denzil Wraight

[Zentis, Hieronymus de ]

(b Viterbo, ?1609–11; d Paris, 1666/7). Italian maker of harpsichords, spinets and organs . His first recorded commission is from 1635, and in 1641 he was appointed to maintain Pope Urban VIII’s keyboard instrument collection. Zenti was perhaps the best known Italian keyboard maker of his day. His craftsmanship is neat, although not elaborate, but his extensive employment at the royal courts in Stockholm (1652–6), Paris (1660–c1662) and England (1664) bears testimony to the regard of his contemporaries for his instruments. He was in Paris again in 1666 and died there some time before Easter the following year (see Barbieri). It seems that during Zenti’s periods abroad his wife oversaw his workshop in Rome, with various assistants.

No organ by Zenti survives. In 1660 he was commissioned by Camillo Pamphili to build the new organ of S Agnese in Navona, Rome, but never executed the work, having taken up the appointment to the French court. The inventory of instruments belonging to Ferdinando de’ Medici in Florence in ...