The Renaissance cornett is a mouthpiece instrument made of wood which combines finger holes, like those of a flute, with the natural harmonics produced by the pressure of the lips on the mouthpiece. Between the 15th and 17th centuries it played an essential part in the choral and instrumental music of the highest standard throughout Europe, being the most outstanding and admired of the wind instruments. The Bassanos, a Venetian family, were the most famed of the cornett builders of the time and the instruments they made are considered to be the most highly-prized and magnificent. Since 2010 the museum has had three Bassano cornetts in its collection, two on exhibition and a third in store. Together they constitute a group of instruments of the utmost historical importance.