The Italian Harpsichord

The Italian harpsichord is generally disposed with two eight foot choirs of strings, both of which are intended to be engaged when the instrument is played. The sound is usually quite strong at the pluck and decays fairly quickly; it is often used as a continuo instrument.
The Italian instruments were treated in the same manner as violins - they were undecorated, allowing the beauty of the wood and the form to show.