Guitar

1680
Nicolas Alexandre Voboam II (French, after 1633–about 1693)


Object Place: Paris, France

Dimensions

Length 91.9 cm, width 25 cm, depth 9.3 cm (Length 36 3/16 in., width 9 13/16 in., depth 3 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

1993.576

Medium or Technique

Ebony, red cedar, spruce, ivory, parchment, sheep gut

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

Collections

Europe, Musical Instruments

Classifications

Chordophones

Back of “red cedar” (Juniperus) inlaid with four strips of ivory sandwiched by ebony. Ribs of ebony inlaid with two strips of ivory. Belly of fine-grain spruce with tiered rose of gilded parchment. Rope-pattern binding of ivory and ebony along edges of belly, soundhole, headstock, and fingerboard. Neck, headstock, and fingerboard veneered with ebony; neck inlaid with six strips of ivory. Tuning pegs of rosewood. Ten tied-on frets of gut and two frets of wood. Nut of ivory. Bridge (later?) of ebony terminating in “moustaches.” Ten strings in five pairs. Internal construction: two lateral braces on back and six on belly (two above soundhole and two abutting soundhole). Modern hardshell case.


Music: Caprice de chacone by Francesco Corbetta, 1671 (performed by Olav Chris Henriksen; from the recording “La Guitarre Royalle,” Museum Music label)

Inscription

In ink on headstock: Alexandre / Voboam / 1680

Provenance

Before 1993, sold by a violin dealer, France, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 1993, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 22, 1993)

Credit Line

Otis Norcross Fund, funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Fraser, and funds by exchange from the Bequest of Gertrude T. Taft