Historical Images of Lyres

David playing his lyre, 725-750 AD. From the Vespasian Psalter. Illustration from Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Museum, Miniatures, Borders, and Initials by George F Warner, series I, (British Museum, London, 1899). (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Close up of the figure of King David from the 8th century Vespasian Psalter, showing the distinctive¬† shape typical of Anglo-Saxon lyres.¬† The fingers of the left hand appear to be resting on the strings, rather than plucking them, suggestive of the “block and strum” playing technique.