about 1885

Object Place: Milan, Italy


Overall: 40 x 8.1 x 142.1 cm (15 3/4 x 3 3/16 x 55 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut, copper, vellum

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Carlo Bugatti is best known for his highly stylized and individualistic furniture, which often incorporates Gothic, Moorish, and Oriental motifs. This lute incorporates ideas from various types of Asian string instruments. It is likely that it functioned as an objet d’art, used as room decoration, rather than as a played instrument. The painting on the circular belly of the body was executed by Italian artist Riccardo Pellegrini, who frequently collaborated with Bugatti.


By 1889, Mrs. John (Mary Elizabeth) Crosby Brown, New York; 1889, gift of Crosby Brown to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; 1996, deaccessioned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1998, sold by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Jack Hirshhorn, Brooklyn, New York; 2007, consigned by Hirshhorn to Steve Uhrik, Brooklyn, New York, and sold to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 27, 2007)

Credit Line

Marshall H. Gould Fund and Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund