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Collection Tour

Lutes, Guitars, and Related Instruments

  • The MFA’s Musical Instruments Collection contains over 1,100 examples from around the world, ranging from ancient times to the twenty-first century. Explore a selection of lutes, guitars, and related instruments from the Museum’s holdings.

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  • Archlute (theorbo)

    17th or 18th century with later alterations

    Object Place, Probably Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of eleven ribs of yew with capping strip. Belly of fine-grain spruce with tri-partite carved rose in geometric pattern. Neck and pegboxes (all later) of ebonized wood, inlaid with strips of cypress. Fingerboard of ebony, edged with ivory and outlined with thin strips of cypress; nine tied-on frets of gut. Tuning pegs and bridge (all later) of ebonized wood. Nuts of ivory (diapason modern). Twenty strings: seven pairs on fingerboard and six diapasons. Dark reddish-brown varnish on back. Internal construction: Seven lateral braces on belly.

    Inscription

    Manuscript label: Magno Diffobruchar / a Venecia [in a different hand:] 1589

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 135.5 cm, width 34.2 cm, depth 14.2 cm (Length 53 3/8 in., width 13 7/16 in., depth 5 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1764

    Medium or Technique

    Yew, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Lute

    1699
    Andreas Berr (Austrian, 1656–1722)

    Object Place, Vienna, Austria

    Description

    Back comprised of eleven ribs of ivory, each separated by strips of ebony, with capping strip. Strips of ebony along upper edges. Belly of fine-grain spruce with carved rose in geometric pattern. Neck and fingerboard of ebony. Pegbox of ebonized wood, veneered on front and back with ebony; back decorated with incised openwork panel of ivory in acanthus leaf pattern. Arm (later) for diapason strings and bridge of ebonized wood. Tuning pegs of ebony with buttons of ivory. Nine tied-on frets of gut and three (later) frets of wood. Nuts of ivory (main nut later). Twenty-four strings: two single chanterelles and nine pairs on fingerboard, and two pairs of diapasons. Internal construction: Seven lateral braces on belly (two above soundhole and one across soundhole) and one short, angled brace near lower end.

    Inscription

    Printed label: Andreas Berr / Lauten und Geigen: / macher in Wienn Anno 16 [handwritten: 99]/ [handwritten: 3 ur gr (?)i...(?); incised on underside of belly near neck joint: L B

    Provenance

    May 13, 1981, sold at auction by Christie's, New York, lot 48, to Hugh Gough, New York; 1986, sold by Gough to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 81 cm, width 28.3 cm, depth 13.5 cm (Length 31 7/8 in., width 11 1/8 in., depth 5 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1986.7

    Medium or Technique

    Ivory, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Lute (pastiche, after 17th-century Italian type)

    late 19th century
    Probably by Leopoldo Franciolini (Italian, 1844–1920 Italian)

    Object Place, Florence, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of twenty-three ribs of maple, each separated by strips of ebony, with capping strip. Wide side pieces. Four-piece belly of irregular-grain softwood. Crude separate rose of parchment in geometrical pattern. Neck of hardwood veneered with ebony and ivory in herringbone pattern. Pegbox of ebonized wood. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood with buttons of ivory. Fingerboard of ebony inlaid with decorative oval of ivory flanked by classical figures. Nine tied-on frets of gut. Nut of ivory. Bridge (modern) of ebonized beech with cap of ivory. Fourteen strings in seven pairs. Amber-brown varnish on back.

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 65.5 cm, width 29.2 cm, depth 14.4 cm (Length 25 13/16 in., width 11 1/2 in., depth 5 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1763

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Chitarrone (after 17th-century Italian type)

    late 19th century
    Possibly by Leopoldo Franciolini (Italian, 1844–1920 Italian)

    Object Place, Florence, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of twenty-nine ribs of maple, each separated by strips of ebony, with capping strip. Wide sides pieces. Four-piece belly of irregular-grain softwood, with carved medallion of pearl inlaid at lower end. Soundhole encircled with discs of pearl with garnets at centers, set in black mastic. Separate rose of parchment in geometric pattern. Neck and pegboxes of ebonized wood, inlaid with strips of ivory. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood with buttons and inlaid discs of ivory. Fingerboard of ebony inlaid with grotesques and medallions of ivory. Eight tied-on frets of gut. Nuts of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood. Eighteen strings: one single and five pairs on fingerboard, and seven diapasons. Reddish-brown varnish on back.

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 194 cm, width 40.9 cm, depth 15.8 cm (Length 76 3/8 in., width 16 1/8 in., depth 6 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1765

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, pine, ebony, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandolino

    1724
    Benedetto Gualzatta (Italian, about 1688–after 1729)

    Object Place, Rome, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of thirteen ribs of maple, each separated by strips of ivory, with capping strip. Belly of fine-grain spruce with carved rose (substantially repaired) in geometrical pattern. Edges bound with ivory. Neck and pegbox of maple, terminating in square finial veneered with pearl engraved with geometrical designs. Tuning pegs (some modern) of rosewood with collars and buttons of ivory. Fingerboard of pearl (replaced) engraved with foliate designs, and bound with ivory. Diamonds of pearl set in black mastic along edges of fingerboard and pegbox. Nut and eight frets (modern) of ivory. Bridge of maple (?) with cap of ivory, pearl, and black mastic. Iron ring screwed into bass side of belly for player’s strap. Twelve strings in six pairs. Dark-brown varnish on body, neck, and pegbox. Internal construction: Five lateral braces on belly (two above soundhole and one crossing soundhole).

    Inscription

    Manuscript label: Benedetto Gualzatta/ Roma 1724

    Provenance

    1977, sold by source unidentified, Cremona, Italy, to Andrew Dipper, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 1992, sold by Dipper to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1992)

    Credit Line

    Frederick Brown Fund and Musical Instruments Curator's Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 55.5 cm, width 14.4 cm, depth 8.5 cm (Length 21 7/8 in., width 5 11/16 in., depth 3 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1992.1

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, mother-of-pearl, ivory

    On View

    Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MiAudio63.mp3

  • Mandoline

    1771
    Vincenzo Vinaccia (active 1769–1785)

    Object Place, Naples, Italy

    Description

    Provenance

    Before 2006, sold by private collector, England, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2006, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 21, 2006)

    Credit Line

    Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 57.5 cm, width 17.8 cm, depth 14.2 cm (Length 22 5/8 in., width 7 in., depth 5 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2006.1224

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory, tortoiseshell

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio114.mp3

  • Mandoline

    1790
    Giovanni Battista Fabricatore (Italian, active 1780–1811)

    Object Place, Naples, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of twenty-seven ribs of maple, each separated by strips of ebony, with capping strip. Wide sides pieces. Belly of medium-grain spruce edged with purfling and binding of ivory (missing). Belly inlaid at upper and lower ends with pearl in foliate designs set in red mastic. Wing-shaped pickguard of tortoiseshell. Soundhole edged with purfling and binding of pearl. Neck and headstock of hardwood veneered with tortoiseshell and strips of purfling. Tuning pegs of ebony with buttons of ivory. Fingerboard and face of headstock veneered with tortoiseshell and pearl; seventeen frets of brass. Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebony. Four pegs of ivory at lower end of body for fastening strings. Eight strings in four pairs. Dark brown varnish on back and neck. Internal construction: two lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Printed label: Gio: Battista Fabricatore fecit / An.: 1790 in. S.M. dell' Ajuto / Napoli

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 57.5 cm, width 17.8 cm, depth 14.2 cm (Length 22 5/8 in., width 7 in., depth 5 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1758

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandolin

    19th century

    Object Place, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of eleven ribs of alternating maple and rosewood, with rosewood capping strip. Belly of fine-grain spruce with striped binding of ebony and ivory along edges and encircling soundhole. Purfling and gold stenciled foliate designs around soundhole. Neck and pegbox of mahogany terminating in head carved with flower and leaves. Tuning pegs of rosewood. Fingerboard of ebony with twenty frets of nickel silver. Nut of ebony. Bridge of ebonized wood. Six single strings. Internal construction: At least four lateral braces on belly.

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 57.2 cm, width 20.8 cm, depth 10.5 cm (Length 22 1/2 in., width 8 3/16 in., depth 4 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1759

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, rosewood, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandolino

    late 19th century
    Probably by Leopoldo Franciolini (Italian, 1844–1920 Italian)

    Object Place, Florence, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of fifteen ribs of maple with capping strip. Two-piece belly of irregular-grain softwood with separate carved rose of wood in quatrefoil pattern with eight-petal flower at center. Neck and pegbox of ebonized wood, terminating in square finial decorated with bone set in black mastic. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood. Fingerboard of walnut with binding of bone; six tied-on frets of gut and one fret of wood. Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebonized beech with cap of ivory. Twelve strings in six pairs. Reddish-brown varnish on back.

    Inscription

    Manuscript label (very faint): Fait par ... / [f?]an (?)ani à Liège, l'an 1771

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 58 cm, width 17.5 cm, depth 8.5 cm (Length 22 13/16 in., width 6 7/8 in., depth 3 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1762

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandolino

    late 19th century
    Probably by Leopoldo Franciolini (Italian, 1844–1920 Italian)

    Object Place, Probably Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of eleven ribs of ebony, each separated by strips of ivory, with capping strip. Wide side pieces. One-piece belly of wide-grain softwood. Belly and soundhole edged with triangles of bone and black mastic. Crudely-carved separate rose of wood in foliate pattern, backed by black paper. Neck and pegbox of ebonized wood inlaid with strips of ivory, terminating in square finial with carved grotesque mask of ebonized wood. Back of pegbox inlaid with plaque of ivory engraved with foliate designs. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood with inlaid discs and buttons of ivory. Fingerboard of bone, engraved with village scene. Nut and nine frets of ebony. Bridge of ebonized wood with cap of ivory. Ten strings in five pairs.

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 53.7 cm, width 14.8 cm, depth 8.4 cm (Length 21 1/8 in., width 5 13/16 in., depth 3 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1761

    Medium or Technique

    Ebony, spruce, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandola

    early 19th century

    Object Place, Probably Naples, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of seventeen ribs of maple, each separated by strips of dark brown wood, with capping strip. Belly of medium-grain softwood. Soundhole encircled with flowers of pearl set in red mastic. Separate carved rose of wood in geometrical pattern. Belly inlaid at upper and lower ends with pearl in floral designs. Trapezoidal pickguard of tortoiseshell, edged with ebony and ivory. Neck of hardwood inlaid with strips of ebony and ivory. Pegbox of walnut (?), terminating in square finial veneered with triangles of ebony and pearl. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood. Fingerboard veneered with strips of ebony and ivory; seven frets of brass and six of wood. Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood with cap of ivory. Six pegs of ivory at lower end of body for fastening strings. Twelve strings in six pairs.

    Inscription

    Handwritten label: [illegible]

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 76.5 cm, width 28 cm, depth 15.1 cm (Length 30 1/8 in., width 11 in., depth 5 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1760

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandoline

    early 20th century
    Ezechiele Torricelli (Italian, 1st half of 20th century Italian)

    Object Place, Rome, Italy

    Description

    Back comprised of thirty-three ribs of ebonized wood, each separated by strips of ivory. Wide side pieces and end clasp inlaid with ivory in scrolling foliate designs. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Binding of ebony, ivory, pearl, and tortoiseshell along edges of belly and encircling soundhole, plus strip of quatrefoils and lozenges of pearl set in black mastic. Wing-shaped pickguard of ebonized wood, inlaid with ivory similar to capping strip. Neck of hardwood veneered with tortoiseshell with edging of ivory. Headstock of ebonized wood, inlaid on face with ivory in tree-of-life pattern. Tuning machines of nickel silver with knobs of ivory; backplate engraved with foliate designs. Fingerboard of ebony, bound with ivory and inlaid with fret markers of pearl in various designs. Twenty-six frets of nickel silver. Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebony with cap of ivory. String holder of silver engraved with foliate designs and crown. Eight strings in four pairs. Internal construction: Three lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole); angled brace just below soundhole. Original case of wood veneered with burl walnut (?), lined with green velvet, and bail-type handle of silver.

    Inscription

    Printed label: EZECHIELE TORRICELLI / Fabbricante di Chitarre e Mandolini / ROMA, Via Buonarro[ti] 39 int. 9

    Provenance

    By 1948, Amy Johnson Brigham, Massachusetts; 1948, by inheritance to Mrs. Warren C. (Anne D.) Moffett, Boston, Massachusetts; 1986, gift of Moffett to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 25, 1986)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Anne D. Moffett

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 56 cm, width 17.7 cm, depth 13.8 cm (Length 22 1/16 in., width 6 15/16 in., depth 5 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1986.319

    Medium or Technique

    Ebonized wood, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Mandolin (style A2)

    1919
    Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company (American American)

    Object Place, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

    Description

    One-piece arched back and ribs of birch. Arched belly of wide-grain spruce. Back, belly, fingerboard, and soundhole bound with white plastic. Soundhole encircled with purfling in herringbone pattern. Neck and headstock of mahogany; face of headstock ebonized. Tuning machines of steel with knobs of white plastic. Fingerboard of ebony with fret markers of pearl dots and twenty frets of nickel silver. Nut of ivory. Bridge of walnut (?). String holder of nickel silver. Pickguard of plastic in tortoiseshell pattern. End button of ebony. Eight strings in four pairs. Dark brown varnish. Internal construction: One lateral brace on belly. Original hardshell case.

    Inscription

    Inlaid on headstock: The/ Gibson; printed label: … Gibson MANDOLIN Style A2 / Number [handwritten: 51056] is hereby / GUARANTEED …/ GIBSON MANDOLIN-GUITAR CO. / (Manufacturers) / Kalamazoo, Mich. U.S.A.; On tailpiece: The/ Gibson On pickguard: PAT MAR 30 '09

    Provenance

    Before 1982, Fred J. Zahn; by 1982, by descent to his son, Carl F. Zahn, Boston, Massachusetts; 1982, gift of Zahn to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 12, 1982)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Carl F. Zahn in memory of his father, Fred J. Zahn

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 65 cm, width 25.7 cm (Length 25 9/16 in., width 10 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1982.801

    Medium or Technique

    Birch, spruce, ebony, plastic

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Guitar

    1628
    Jacopo Checchucci (Italian, active early 17th century)

    Object Place, Livorno, Italy

    Description

    Arched back comprised of seventeen ribs of ebony over pine substrate, each separated by two thin strips of ivory and inlaid with ivory in pattern of scrolling tendrils. Sides decorated similarly. Belly of fine-grain spruce, inlaid with arabesques of black mastic. Heraldic device of double-headed eagle inlaid at neck juncture and waist of body on both sides. Tiered rose of gilded parchment with red accents. Binding comprised of parallelograms of ivory and triangles of black mastic along edges of belly and around soundhole. Neck, headstock, and fingerboard veneered with ebony and inlaid similarly to body. Tuning pegs of ivory (unmatched set). Eight tied-on frets of gut and five (later) frets of ebony. Nut of ivory. Bridge (modern) of ebony. End button (modern) of brass. Ten strings in five pairs. Internal construction: Three lateral braces on belly; two below soundhole angled slightly downward from treble to bass. Modern hardshell case.

    Inscription

    Printed label: Jacopo Checchucci in / Liuorno 162[handwritten:8]

    Provenance

    After 1628, probably owned by a member of the royal house of Hapsburg, based on the presence of the heraldic emblem of a double-headed eagle incorporated into the decoration. About 1900 or earlier, the guitar is pictured in an album, in the front of which is written "album de photographie des Instruments de Musique composant la collection de ceux-ci, formée par mon oncle Charles Petit, à Blois." About 1960, sold by source unidentified to a collector, France; by 2001, by inheritance to his son, France; by 2001, sold to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2001, sold by Binghma to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 12, 2001)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously, Frank B. Bemis Fund, Morris and Louise Rosenthal Fund, Frank T. Gangi—Global NAPs, Elizabeth Marie Paramino Fund in memory of John F. Paramino, Boston Sculptor, Jane Marsland and Judith A. Marsland Fund, Mrs. Ralph P. Rudnick, and by exchange from Gift of Joseph R. Coolidge in memory of his wife, Peggy Stuart Coolidge, Gift of Mrs. Eleanor H. Wicher, Gift of Mrs. Ruth P. Chase, and Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Vincent Pattavina

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 90 cm, width 25.5 cm, depth 12 cm (Length 35 7/16 in., width 10 1/16 in., depth 4 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2001.707

    Medium or Technique

    Ebony, spruce, ivory, sheep gut, brass, mastic

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Guitar

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

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    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.

    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

    Details

    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

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio5.mp3

  • Guitar (chitarra battente)

    1725

    Object Place, Perugia, Italy

    Description

    Arched back comprised of thirteen ribs of bloodwood, each separated by strip of diamond-shaped pieces of pearl set in black mastic. Sides comprised of five ribs, decorated similarly to back. Two-piece belly of fine-grain spruce, bound with ivory and edged with pieces of pearl similar to back; field decorated with interlacing, foliate designs, and cherub of inlaid tortoiseshell and pearl set in black mastic. Carved rose of walnut. Neck and headstock of bloodwood (?) inlaid with interlacing similar to belly. Front of headstock veneered with ivory, tortoiseshell, and pearl, incorporating heraldic devices of star, dove, and tri-lobed mountain. Tuning pegs of boxwood (?) with buttons of ivory. Fingerboard veneered with tortoiseshell, bound with ivory, and inlaid with pearl in foliate designs. Ten frets of brass with sloped strips of ivory inlaid behind each. Nut of ivory. Bridge (modern) of maple (?) with saddle of ivory. Five pins of brass at lower end of body for fastening strings. Fourteen strings in five courses of one pair and four triples. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole). Ribs lined with pieces of linen and parchment from pages of sacred music.

    Inscription

    Inlaid near lower end of belly: IACOBVS MOSCA CAVELLI FECIT; inlaid near upper end of belly: APOC 14 / SICVT CI / THAROEDORVM / CITHARIVM IN CIT / ARISSVIS; handwritten label inside: In Honorem Conceptionis / Be Marie Virginis Corda / Leni pulsate Jacobus Mosca / Cavelli fecit Pisauri fecit / Perusia 1725

    Provenance

    After 1725, probably owned by a member of the Chigi or Pamphilj families, Rome, based on the heraldic devices on the headstock. Before 1864, Baron Salomon de Rothschild (1835-1864), Paris, France. December 14, 2001, sold by Daguerre Auction House, Paris, France, to Alain Moatti, Paris, France; 2003, sold by Moatti to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 26, 2003)

    Credit Line

    Frank B. Bemis Fund and funds donated by William and Deborah Elfers, an anonymous donor, Weston Associates, Leo and Gabriella Beranek, Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser, Richard S. Milstein, Esq., Mrs. Robert B. Newman, and Marlowe and Elise Sigal

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 93 cm, width 24.9 cm, depth 14.5 cm (Length 36 5/8 in., width 9 13/16 in., depth 5 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2003.76

    Medium or Technique

    Bloodwood, spruce, walnut, ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, brass, mastic

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio64.mp3

  • Guitar (chitarra battente)

    mid-18th century

    Object Place, Italy

    Description

    Arched back comprised of twelve ribs of walnut, each separated by strips of light wood. Sides similar, comprised of seven ribs. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Soundhole encircled with foliate shapes and dots of pearl set in black mastic. Tiered rose of gilded parchment with red accents. Neck and headstock of walnut painted/stained black. Tuning pegs (unmatched set) of boxwood. Fingerboard and front of headstock veneered with walnut. Nine frets of brass and five of wood. Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebony and ivory. Five pegs of ivory at lower end of body for fastening strings. Ten strings in five pairs.

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 79.5 cm, width 22.7 cm, depth 14 cm (Length 31 5/16 in., width 8 15/16 in., depth 5 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1756

    Medium or Technique

    Walnut, spruce

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Guitar

    about 1790
    Jean-Baptiste Champion (French, active 1783–1808)

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    One-piece back and ribs of rosewood. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Rope-pattern binding of ivory and ebony along edges of belly and soundhole. Soundhole also encircled with multi-line purfling of ivory and walnut (?). Separate rose (later, removed) of parchment in geometrical pattern. Neck and headstock of rosewood. Tuning pegs (later) and nut of ivory. Fingerboard veneered with walnut. Twelve tied-on frets of gut. Bridge (replaced) of ebony terminating in “moustaches.” Ten strings in five pairs. Internal construction: Three lateral braces on back and two on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Repaired / 1963 by / Donald Warnock / Cambridge, Mass. Stamped on front and back of pegboard: CHAMPION; repair label: Extensively

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 93.2 cm, width 26.6 cm (Length 36 11/16 in., width 10 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1753

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, palisandre, spruce, walnut, ebony, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio1.mp3

  • Guitar

    1803
    Giovanni Battista Fabricatore (Italian, active 1780–1811)

    Object Place, Naples, Italy

    Description

    Provenance

    Before 2003, private owner, Rome, Italy; by November 2003, presumably sold by private owner to Babuino Casa d'Aste, Rome; November 2003, sold by Babuino to Lorenzo Frignani, Modena, Italy; 2010, sold by Frignani to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 22, 2010)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the Edwin M. Ripin Collection—Friends of the Collection Fund

    Details

    Accession Number

    2010.612

    Medium or Technique

    Spruce, rosewood, boxwood, mother-of-pearl, bone

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Alto guitar

    late 19th century
    Probably by Leopoldo Franciolini (Italian, 1844–1920 Italian)

    Object Place, Florence, Italy

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-grain spruce with binding of ebonized wood. Soundhole encircled by semicircles of pearl set in black mastic. Trapezoidal pickguard of dark brown wood. Neck and headstock of maple stained brown. Screw (?) through neck heel. Tuning pegs of mahogany (?). Fingerboard of ebony with seven frets of nickel silver and seven of horn. Nut and end button of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood with ornamental ends. Amber varnish on body. Internal construction: Three lateral braces on back and at least three lateral braces on belly (two above belly).

    Inscription

    Printed label: Carlo Bergonzi fece / in Cremona l'anno 17 [handwritten: 85]

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 54.3 cm, width 21.7 cm (Length 21 3/8 in., width 8 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1752

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Guitar

    early 19th century

    Object Place, Possibly Spain

    Description

    One-piece back and ribs of rosewood. Belly of medium-grain spruce with multi-line binding of wood. Soundhole encircled with five-line binding of wood and inlaid squares of pearl and ebony. Neck and headstock of cedar (?). Tuning pegs of ebony with buttons of pearl. Fingerboard of rosewood with seventeen frets of nickel silver. Nut and bridge pins of ebony. Bridge of mahogany (?). Internal construction: Four lateral braces on back and four on belly (one above soundhole and two lowest angled).

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 94.2 cm, width 27.8 cm (Length 37 1/16 in., width 10 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1754

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce

    Not On View

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    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Nine-string guitar

    1827
    René-François Lacôte (French, 1785–1855)

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    One-piece back of mahogany over substrate of spruce. Ribs of solid mahogany. Two-piece belly of fine-grain spruce. Multi-line binding of ebony and whalebone around edges of belly and soundhole. Neck of mahogany. Headstock of maple sandwiched by mahogany; face ebonized. Tuning pegs of rosewood. Nut and fingerboard of ebony with seventeen frets of nickel silver. Bridge, finger rest, and string holder of maple. Six main strings and three diapason strings. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on back and five on belly (two above soundhole). Original case of wood lined with green wool.

    Inscription

    Stamped on headstock: Lacote, / a Paris / PAR BREVETE, / D'INVENTION; printed label: Place des Victoirea, / No. 5 / LACOTE, / Luthier / a Paris / Annee 182 [handwritten: 7]; Printed labels on case: Eugène Petetin / ANCIEN OFFICiER DE MARINE / [handwritten: 32, no. du Luxembourg / Paris / 9 Cordes …]

    Provenance

    Before 1858, Eugène Peletin, Paris, France, a student of the French guitar virtuoso Napoleon Coste (1805-1883). Before 2000, sold by source unidentified, the Hotel Drouot, to a dealer, Paris; by 2000, sold by same dealer to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2000, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously through the Joseph Bishop Van Sciver Fund (1861-1943) of The Boston Foundation and an anonymous donor

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 92 cm, width 30 cm (Length 36 1/4 in., width 11 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.629

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, maple, spruce, ebony, whale bone, silver, nickel silver, sheep gut

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio11.mp3

  • Guitar

    1830

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Binding of ebonized pearwood. Multi-line purfling around edges of belly and soundhole. Rosette composed of pearl in diamond shapes. Neck and headstock of ebonized cedar. Tuning machines of brass and iron with knobs of ivory; stamped RANCE. Fingerboard of rosewood with eighteen frets of brass. Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebonized pearwood, terminating in pearl-covered exclamation points. Bridge pins of ebony. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on back and three on belly (one above soundhole). Original case of wood lined with red wool.

    Inscription

    Printed label: [handwritten: 1820] / Panormo Fecit / Anno 18 [handwritten: 30] London / 40 High Street, Bloomsbury.

    Provenance

    About 1991, sold by Terenzio, a violin dealer, Pennsylvania, to Robert E. Lehman, New York; about 1991, sold by Lehman to John Wiesenthal, Rochester, New York; 2000, sold by Wiesenthal through Lehman to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 24, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott and an anonymous donor

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 92 cm, width 29.1 cm (Length 36 1/4 in., width 11 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.635

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, cedar, pearwood (?), rosewood, mother-of-pearl, ebony, ivory, brass, steel, sheep gut, silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio12.mp3

  • Shield-shaped guitar (Wappengitarre)

    about 1835
    Probably by Victorin Drassegg (Austrian, 1782–1847 Austrian)

    Object Place, Bregenz, Austria

    Description

    Back, ribs, and belly of burled walnut veneer over substrate of softwood. Semicircular cutouts encircling soundhole. Neck and pegbox of walnut; neck angle adjustable with watch-key screw at heel. Tuning pegs of ebony with buttons of ivory. Fingerboard of ebony with eighteen frets of ivory. Nut, end button, and decorative domes on headstock of bone. Bridge and bridge pins of ebony. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on back and four on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Printed label fragment: Laute …

    Provenance

    By 2000, sold by a dealer, Germany, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2000, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Jeffrey and Andrew Remis

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 97.2 cm, width 31 cm (Length 38 1/4 in., width 12 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.631

    Medium or Technique

    Walnut, spruce, ebony, ivory, cow bone, mother-of-pearl, sheep gut, copper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Harp-guitar

    about 1835

    Object Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

    Description

    One-piece back and ribs of rosewood. Belly of spruce stained brown with two circular soundholes. Gold striping along edges of back, ribs, belly, and headstock. Gold decoration at top, center, and bottom of back, comprised of foliate designs and lyre. Neck and headstock veneered with rosewood over core of hardwood. Headstock surmounted by two carved wooden heads of eagles, painted black and gold. Tuning machines of brass and iron with knobs of ivory. Fingerboard of rosewood with three dot fret markers of ivory and nineteen frets of nickel silver. Bridge and carved foliate extensions of rosewood. Nut and bridge buttons (four originals) of ivory. Base of ebonized wood screwed to bottom, with four protruding spikes of brass. Internal construction: six lateral braces on back (one above main soundhole and two below secondary soundhole) straddling shallow longitudinal brace, and six braces on belly (one above main soundhole and two below secondary soundhole).

    Inscription

    Printed label: EMILIUS N. SCHERR / Piano Forte and Organ Builder & c. / PHILADELPHIA / No. 264 Market Street / all kinds of Musical Instruments Repaired; in gold above main soundhole: PATENT / Harp Guitar.

    Provenance

    1938, sold by Rebecca Wilder Holmes to the Music Department, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; June 1996, loaned by Smith College to the MFA; 2003, sold by Smith College to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 17, 2003)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by William and Deborah Elfers

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 152 cm, width 33 cm, depth 8.7 cm (Length 59 13/16 in., width 13 in., depth 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2003.343

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce, ivory, brass, steel, nickel silver, sheep gut, silver

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio13.mp3

  • Guitar

    about 1840
    Probably by Antoine Anciaume (French, born in 1776 French)

    Object Place, Mirecourt, France

    Description

    One-piece back and ribs veneered with burled amboyna wood over substrate of spruce. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Binding of ivory and ebony along belly and back. Border of belly decorated with pearl and abalone in repeated foliate pattern. Belly, headstock, neck, and fingerboard decorated in motifs celebrating Napoleon Bonaparte, inlaid in engraved pearl and abalone. Neck and headstock of maple veneered with burled amboyna. Tuning machines of brass and iron with rollers of ivory and heads of pearl in floral pattern, stamped Demet. Seventeen frets of nickel silver. Nut of pearl. Bridge, bridge pins, and end button of ebony. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on back and five on belly (two above soundhole and one below soundhole angled slightly). Modern case of wood lined with decorative paper.

    Inscription

    Engraved at base of fingerboard and printed on inside label: ANCIAUME

    Provenance

    By 1997, Jacques Français, New York; 1997, sold by Français to Wurlitzer-Bruck, New York; 1999, sold by Wurlitzer-Bruck to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 15, 1999)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously through the Joseph Bishop Van Sciver Fund (1861-1943) of The Boston Foundation

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 90.7 cm, width 29.6 cm (Length 35 11/16 in., width 11 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1999.520

    Medium or Technique

    Amboyna wood, spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, abalone, silver, brass, steel, nickel silver, sheep gut

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Guitar

    about 1840
    Martin & Coupa (American, active about 1840–1850)

    Object Place, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, United States

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of rosewood. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Binding of ivory around edges of back and belly. Purfling of pearl diamonds set in black mastic around edges of belly and soundhole. Purfling of alternating dark and light wood in herringbone pattern along upper and lower edges of ribs. Purfling of alternating dark and light wood squares around edges of back. Neck and headstock of hardwood veneered with ebony; sides of headstock veneered with ivory. Neck angle adjustable with watch-key screw at heel. Tuning machines of iron and brass; back of headstock covered by plate of brass engraved with floral designs. Nut and fingerboard of ivory with eighteeen frets of nickel silver. Bridge of ivory with decorative lobe inlaid with abalone. Bridge pins of ebony. Internal construction: three lateral braces on back; two lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole) plus two angled braces in V pattern. Original case of yellow poplar with no extant lining.

    Inscription

    Printed label: MARTIN & COUPA / Guitar Manufacturers / 385 Broadway / Up Stairs / NEW YORK / [Have] always on hand the largest assortment of Guitars / [that can] be found in the United States

    Provenance

    By the early 1990s, sold at a guitar show, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Fred Oster, Philadelphia; 2003, sold by Oster to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 17, 2003)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by William and Deborah Elfers

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 92.6 cm, width 29 cm (Length 36 7/16 in., width 11 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2003.342

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce, ebony, ivory, brass, mother-of-pearl, nickel silver, sheep gut, silver, abalone, steel

    On View

    David and Stacey Goel Gallery (Gallery 239)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio71.mp3

  • Guitar (style 2)

    about 1865

    Object Place, Wolcottville (now Torrington), Connecticut, United States

    Description

    Two-piece back of rosewood over substrate of softwood. Ribs of rosewood over substrate of maple (?). Belly of medium-grain spruce with triple-line purfling. Binding of light wood on back and belly. Septuple-line purfling encircling soundhole. Neck and headstock of maple veneered with rosewood. Tuning machines of brass and iron with knobs of rosewood. Fingerboard of rosewood with nineteen frets of brass. Nut, bridge, and bridge pins of ebony. End button of ivory. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on back; two lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole) plus three thin, steeply angled braces at lower end. Original case of wood lined with patterned fabric.

    Inscription

    Stamped on neck block: J. ASHBURN; stamped on back brace: FIRTH SON & Co/ NEW- YORK 2

    Provenance

    1998, sold by the Music Emporium, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 18, 1998)

    Credit Line

    Ernest Kahn Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 91.2 cm, width 29 cm (Length 35 7/8 in., width 11 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1998.194

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce, maple

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio67.mp3

  • Guitar

    1890s
    John C. Haynes and Company (American)

    Object Place, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Inscription

    Printed label: BAY STATE / JOHN C. HAYNES & CO., ... Boston. / O.H. DITSON & CO., ... New York. / J. E. DITSON & CO., ... Philadelphia. / Zithers, Mandolins, Guitars, Violins, Banjos.; stamped on upper block and back brace: HAYNES EXCELSIOR / BOSTON, MASS.

    Provenance

    In the 1890s, possibly included in an exhibition, Germany; during the 1890s, purportedly sold at German exhibition to a family of minor royalty, Bavaria. About 1998, acquired by a dealer, Dusseldorf, Germany; before 2001, sold by German dealer to a dealer, New York State; about 2001, sold by New York dealer to James Bollman, Arlington, Massachusetts; 2010, sold by Bollman to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 22, 2010)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the Edwin M. Ripin Collection–Friends of the Collection Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 95.8 cm, width 31.8 cm (Length 37 11/16 in, width 12 1/2 in)

    Accession Number

    2010.581

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce, ebony, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, ivory

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Child's guitar (bambina model)

    about 1870
    Possibly by D. and A. Roudhloff

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of coromandel wood. Belly of fine-grained spruce. Multi-line binding along edges of belly and encircling soundhole. Neck and headstock of cedar. Tuning machines of brass and iron with knobs of ivory; stamped: Baker. Fingerboard of ebony with seventeen frets of nickel silver. Nut and saddle of ivory. Bridge, bridge pins, and end button of ebony. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on back and three on belly (one above soundhole). Original rectangular case of wood veneered with burl walnut and lined with green satin.

    Inscription

    Handwritten label: Mme. R. Sidney Pratten / 38 Welbeck St. / Cavendish S[quare] / ca. 1870 Lond[on]

    Provenance

    Before 1895, Mrs. Sidney Pratten (née Catherina Josepha Pelzer, 1821-1895), London, England. December 16, 1938, sold by Sotheby's London. Before 1978, sold by source unidentified to Christie's, London. July 1978, sold by Christie's, lot 21, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2000, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 54.3 cm, width 14.9 cm (Length 21 3/8 in., width 5 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.630

    Medium or Technique

    Coromandel wood, spruce, cedar, ebony, ivory, brass, steel, sheep gut, silver, nickel silver

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio62.mp3

  • Treble guitar (cavaquinho)

    1850–1900
    Jeronymo Jose Dos Santos (Portuguese, 2nd half of 19th century)

    Object Place, Lisbon, Portugal

    Description

    One-piece back and ribs of wood with fake rosewood graining. Belly of medium-grain spruce. Neck and headstock of maple (?); face of headstock veneered with rosewood. Tuning pegs of ebony with buttons of ivory. Fingerboard of walnut with seventeen frets of brass. Nut and bridge pins of ivory. Bridge of ebony. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on back and two on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Printed label: JERONYMO JOSÉ DOS SANTOS / FABRICANTE DE VIOLAS / FRANCEZAS, GUITARRAS E. CAVAQUINHOS / COM LOJA NO / SARGO DA ANNUNCIADA No. 20 / LISBOA

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 46.2 cm, width 12 cm (Length 18 3/16 in., width 4 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1751

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce, walnut

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Guitar (Romancer model)

    about 1960
    Mastro Industries (American American), Designed by Mario Maccaferri (French French)

    Object Place, New York City, New York, United States

    Description

    Body, neck, headstock, bridge, nut, and end button of injection molded Dow styrene plastic. Belly, fingerboard, and front of headstock ivory colored. Back, ribs, neck, and back of headstock colored brown with swirl pattern imitating wood grain. Belly, fingerboard, and headstock decorated with red and black images of teenagers playing guitars, dancing, etc. Eighteen frets molded into fingerboard. Tuning machines of aluminum with knobs of plastic. Internal construction: Three longitudinal braces of wood. Original neck strap of red and blue braided cord, pick of red plastic, instructional brochure, and storage box of cardboard.

    Inscription

    Marked on headstock: New/ Romancer/ by Maccaferri/ U.S. Pats. No. 2,597,154 2,614,448/ Made in U.S.A.

    Provenance

    About 1990, sold by Maria Maccaferi, the designer's widow, New York, to Brian Fischer, Dover, New Hampshire; 2001, gift of Fischer to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 27, 2001)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Brian Fischer

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 88.3 cm, width 32.3 cm (Length 34 3/4 in., width 12 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2001.421

    Medium or Technique

    Plastic

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Arch-top guitar (style O Artist)

    about 1918
    Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company (American American)

    Object Place, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

    Description

    Two-piece arched back and ribs of birch. Arched belly of fine- to medium-grain spruce. Back, belly, fingerboard, and soundhole edged with binding of white plastic. Soundhole encircled with purfling in diamond pattern. Neck and headstock of mahogany; back and face of headstock ebonized. Face of headstock inlaid with pearl in fleur-de-lis. Tuning machines of steel with knobs of white plastic. Fingerboard of ebony with fret markers of pearl dots and twenty-two frets of nickel silver. Nut of plastic. Bridge and end button of ebony. Tailpiece assembly and pickguard of nickel silver and plastic in tortoiseshell pattern. Red shaded varnish. Internal construction: One lateral and two longitudinal (slightly angled) braces on belly. Original hardshell case.

    Provenance

    Late 1980s, sold by Mr. Babitz, New York, to Fred Oster, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2001, sold by Oster to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 21, 2001)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by the Gibson Guitar Corporation

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 97 cm, width 40.9 cm (Length 38 3/16 in., width 16 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2001.138

    Medium or Technique

    Birch, spruce, mahogany, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, copper, nickel silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Harp guitar (style U)

    1920
    Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Company (American American)

    Object Place, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

    Description

    Two-piece arched back and ribs of birch. Arched belly of fine-grain spruce. Back, belly, fingerboard, and soundhole bound with white plastic. Soundhole encircled with purfling and diamond pattern. Neck, headstock, diapason string extension, and support column of mahogany. Face of headstock ebonized. Angled truss rod of steel. Tuning machines of steel with knobs of white plastic. Fingerboard of ebony with fret markers of pearl dots and nineteen frets of nickel silver. Nut of plastic. Bridge of maple with cap of ebony. Tailpiece assembly of nickel silver and plastic in tortoiseshell pattern. Bridge pins and end button of ebony. Pickguard (modern) of plastic in tortoiseshell pattern with old Gibson hardware of nickel silver. Six main strings and ten diapason strings. Red shaded varnish. Internal construction: One lateral and two longitudinal braces on belly, plus two large struts of wood bracing neck and diapason support rod. Original hardshell case and tuning key.e

    Inscription

    Inlaid on headstock: The/ Gibson; printed label: … Gibson HARP-GUITAR Style U / Number [handwritten: 55511] is hereby / GUARANTEED … GIBSON MANDOLIN-GUITAR CO. / (Manufacturers) / Kalamazoo, Mich. U.S.A.; On tailpiece: PAT. APPLIED FOR On pickguard: PAT MAR 30 '09

    Provenance

    Before 1977, Eldon Stutzman, Rochester, New York; 1977, by inheritance to his son, David Stutzman, Rochester, New York; 2000, sold by Stutzman to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 90.7 cm, width 29.6 cm (Length 35 11/16 in., width 11 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.552

    Medium or Technique

    Birch, spruce, mahogany, maple, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, copper, nickel silver

    Not On View

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    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Harp guitar (Symphony model, Style 5)

    American
    about 1920
    Larson Brothers (American American), Distributed by W. H. Dyer & Brother (American American)

    Object Place, Chicago, Illinois, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    Private family collection, Columbus, Ohio (apparently owned for many years); sold by the family to Fred Oster, Philadelphia, PA; 2008, sold by Oster to MFA. (Accession Date: September 17, 2008)

    Credit Line

    Samuel Putnam Avery Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 105.4 x 40 x 10.8 cm (41 1/2 x 15 3/4 x 4 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2008.676

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, spruce, ebony, mother-of-pearl, ivory, nickel silver, copper, silver

    On View

    Musical Instruments Alcove (Gallery 103C)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Guitar-lyre (chitarra-lyra ad un braccio)

    about 1925
    Luigi Mozzani (Italian, 1869–1943)

    Object Place, Cento, Italy

    Description

    Mozzani began designing his own instruments in the late 19th century, when he became dissatisfied with the small parlor-type guitars that were common in Italy at the time. He established schools of lutherie in Bologna, Cento, and Roverto. This instrument’s design reflects the Art Nouveau style of the early twentieth century, with an organic, curvilinear shape that is derived from nature. One of the more interesting technical features of Mozzani’s harp guitars is a bolt-on neck, the angle of which can be easily adjusted.

    Provenance

    In the 1980s, sold by Tony Vescoli (former guitarist with Les Sauterelles, a.k.a. The Swiss Beatles), Zurich, Switzerland, to Roger Bruderlin. By 2007, Frederick W. Oster, Vintage Instruments, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2007, sold by Oster to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 27, 2007)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 99 x 94 cm (39 x 37 in.) Lender accessory (Case): 102.9 x 43.2 cm (40 1/2 x 17 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.444

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, spruce, walnut, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, silver, steel, nickel silver, sheep gut

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio112.mp3

  • Hawaiian steel guitar (style 4)

    about 1926

    Object Place, Los Angeles, California, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    By 2008, obtained by Elderly Instruments from a private owner in Missouri; 2008, sold by Elderly Instruments to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 19, 2008).

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by the Halfway Rock Foundation

    Details

    Accession Number

    2008.1328

    Medium or Technique

    Koa wood, ivory, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, copper, nickel silver

    Not On View

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    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Resonator guitar (model 65 prototype)

    1929
    Dobro Company (American American)

    Object Place, Los Angeles, California, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    About 1989, sold by Dobro Company, Los Angeles, California, to John Clayton; about 1991, sold by Clayton to Mike Cass, Nashville, Tennessee; about 1992, sold by Cass to Walter Carter, Nashville, Tennessee; 2006, sold by Carter to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 22, 2006)

    Credit Line

    John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, Musical Instruments Curator's Fund, and by exchange from a Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hans Nathan, Gift of Josiah H. V. Fisher in memory of Emily W. McKibben, Gift of Roelof Weertman, and Gift of J. Vaughn Dennett

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 96.4 cm, width 36.2 cm, depth 8.2 cm (Length 37 15/16 in., width 14 1/4 in., depth 3 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2006.1883

    Medium or Technique

    Magnolia, mahogany, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, aluminum, plastic, steel, copper

    Not On View

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    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Resonator guitar (Tricone model)

    1934
    National String Instrument Corporation (American)

    Object Place, Los Angeles, California, United States

    Description

    Body and neck of nickel silver. Three resonators in body covered by grillwork plate with screen mesh in geometric openings. Geometric grillwork in upper half of body. Belly, back, and ribs engraved with floral patterns; edges of body and neck engraved with wavy lines. Headstock of mahogany. Tuning machines of nickel silver and brass with knobs of ivory. Fingerboard of ebony with binding of white plastic and fret markers of pearl dots. Nineteen frets of nickel silver. Nut of ivory. Original hard-shell case.

    Inscription

    Decal on headstock: NATIONAL/ TRADE MARK; stamped on body: PAT. 1762617/ PAT. 1741453/ OTHER PAT. PEND./ MADE IN USA; stamped on headstock: 34 79

    Provenance

    1998, sold by the Music Emporium, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 18, 1998)

    Credit Line

    Helen B. Sweeney Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 98 cm, width 36.2 cm (Length 38 9/16 in., width 14 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1998.193

    Medium or Technique

    Nickel silver, ebony, plastic

    On View

    John Axelrod Gallery (Gallery 326)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio6.mp3

  • Resonator guitar (style O)

    1935
    National String Instrument Corporation (American)

    Object Place, Los Angeles, California, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    1935, sold by Roger Morse, Brockton, Massachusetts, to his student, Bernice Metta, Norwood, Massachusetts; by 2010, by descent to her son, Bill Metta, Jr., Norwood, Massachusetts; 2010, sold by Metta to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 22, 2010)

    Credit Line

    Alice B. Bartlett Fund and funds donated by Davis Noble

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length: 96.5 cm (38 in.)

    Accession Number

    2010.615

    Medium or Technique

    Brass, nickel silver, wood

    Not On View

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    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Guitar (catalog model 49)

    about 1932
    Stromberg-Voisenet Company (American American)

    Object Place, Chicago, Illinois, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1994, Michael Newton, Fresno, California; November 25, 1994, sold by Newton to Michael Wright, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Michael and Nancy Wolfe in memory of Raphaela (Rae) DiPietro

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 92.5 x 33.7 x 9.6cm (36 7/16 x 13 1/4 x 3 3/4in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2415

    Medium or Technique

    Birch, spruce, basswood, rosewood, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, brass, nickel silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Arch-top guitar (Venetian model, style A)

    about 1933
    Kay Musical Instrument Company (Kay-Kraft Brand) (American American)

    Object Place, Chicago, Illinois, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1990, Society Hill Loan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; July 14, 1990, sold by Society Hill Loan to Michael Wright, Philadelphia; 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 101 x 36.5 x 9.4cm (39 3/4 x 14 3/8 x 3 11/16in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2414

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, brass, nickel silver, silk

    Not On View

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    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Arch-top guitar (New Yorker model)

    1954
    John D'Angelico (American, 1905–1964)

    Object Place, New York City, New York, United States

    Description

    Two-piece arched back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-to-medium-grain spruce with F-shaped soundholes. Back, belly, soundholes, and fingerboard edged with binding of white and black plastic. Neck and headstock of maple. Grover brand tuning machines of brass. Fingerboard of ebony with fret markers of pearl in “split block” pattern and twenty-two frets of nickel silver. Nut of ivory. Adjustable bridge of ebony. Tailpiece of brass. Pickguard (modern) of plastic. Floating electronic pickup (later, removed). Brown sunburst finish. Hard-shell case (later).

    Inscription

    Inlaid on peg head: D'Angelico / New York / New Yorker; stamped inside: 1959

    Provenance

    Before 1998, John Knapp, New York. By 1998, sold by source unidentified to Skinner, Inc., Bolton, Massachusetts; 1998, sold by Skinner, Inc., to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 24, 1998)

    Credit Line

    John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, and Harriet Otis Cruft Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 110 cm, width 45.5 cm (Length 43 5/16 in., width 17 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1998.62

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, brass, nickel silver

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    • audio

      MIAudio10.mp3

  • Travel guitar (Backpacker model)

    1999
    Manufactured by C. F. Martin & Co., Inc. (American American)

    Object Place, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, United States

    Description

    Back, ribs, and neck of one-piece of mahogany. Belly of wide-grain spruce. Tuning machines and strap buttons of chrome-plated steel. Fingerboard of rosewood with fifteen frets of nickel silver. Nut, saddle, and bridge pins of white plastic. Bridge of rosewood. Internal construction: Three lateral braces on back and two steeply angled braces on belly. Padded case of black nylon and player’s strap of brown nylon.

    Inscription

    Embossed into soundboard: C. F. Martin & Co./ EST. 1833; printed label: The/ Backpacker/ Guitar/ Serial # [handwritten: 95. 043]/ .../ Manufactured by/ C.F. Martin & Co., Inc./ Made in Mexico...

    Provenance

    2000, gift of the maker to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Gift of The Martin Guitar Company

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 89 cm, width 19.7 cm, depth 5 cm (Length 35 1/16 in., width 7 3/4 in., depth 1 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.591

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, spruce, rosewood, plastic, steel, copper, nickel silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Electric guitar (Dan Armstrong model)

    1969–70
    Ampeg Company (American American)

    Object Place, Linden, New Jersey, United States

    Description

    By the 1960s, industrial designers had begun to incorporate acrylic plastics into the production of not only furniture, but also mechanical objects. The material’s transparent quality shed light on previously unseen inner workings, allowing them to be perceived as part of the overall aesthetic. Guitar designer Dan Armstrong may have conceived this clear acrylic guitar as a way of emphasizing the inconsequential nature of an electric guitar’s body, as it has very little acoustical affect on the instrument’s sound quality. The maple neck and rosewood fingerboard would have made the instrument feel more natural to players, but they also provide an attractive visual contrast to the see-through body.

    Provenance

    By 1990, Gruhn Guitars, Nashville, Tennessee; May 1, 1990, sold by Gruhn Guitars to Michael Wright, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by The Kittredge Foundation, Michael and Lisa Kittredge, Trustees, 2009

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 97.2 x 33 x 3.2cm (38 1/4 x 13 x 1 1/4in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2416

    Medium or Technique

    Plastic, maple, rosewood, ivory, steel, aluminum, nickel silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Electric guitar (Gittler model)

    about 1980
    Avraham Bar Rashi (formerly Allan Gittler, 1928–2003)

    Object Place, New York City, New York, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    About 1980, Avraham Bar Rashi (a.k.a. Allan Gittler), New York; 2000, sold by Bar Rashi to David Kean, Calgary; 2009, sold by Kean to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 73.4 x 7.3 cm (28 7/8 x 2 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2412

    Medium or Technique

    Stainless steel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Electric guitar (M5-700 MoonSault model)

    1982
    Kawai Company (Japanese Japanese)

    Object Place, Hamamatsu, Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1999, Craig Wilson, Paris, Kentucky; March 8, 1999, sold by Wilson to Michael Wright, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 106.7 x 30.5 x 4.1cm (42 x 12 x 1 5/8in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2418

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, rosewood, mother-of-pearl, plastic, steel, nickel silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Electric guitar (Pro II U series Urchin Deluxe model)

    1984
    Arai Company (Aria trademark) (Japanese Japanese)

    Object Place, Nagoya, Japan

    Description

    The dramatic curves of the Urchin guitar might have been inspired by the spiny points of the instrument’s sea-dwelling namesake, or they might suggest the sinister fins of a shark. Regardless, the reference to ocean life is evident, with the deeply shaded blue-black varnish over a striped maple veneer that suggests ripples in a sandy beach as the ocean breaks over it. Various other guitar models from the 1980s experimented with abstract, pointed designs, as heavy-metal bands sometimes used their instrument’s weapon-like appearance as a visual complement to the loud, thrashing music that was their trademark. Probably inspired by the work of B.C. Rich, a California guitar maker who started building guitars with similarly spiky outlines a decade earlier, the Urchin never sold as well as the company’s more traditionally shaped models of classic American guitars.

    Provenance

    By 1993, Daddy's Junky Music, Salem, New Hampshire; November 19, 1993, sold by Daddy's Junky Music to Michael Wright, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Carol T. and Robert P. Henderson

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 103.5 x 38.1 x 4.5cm (40 3/4 x 15 x 1 3/4in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2417

    Medium or Technique

    Ash, maple, rosewood, plastic, steel, brass, nickel silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Electric guitar (GL2T model)

    1986
    Steinberger Sound Company (American)

    Object Place, Newburgh, New York, United States

    Description

    Music: Improvisation by Reeves Gabrels, 2009 (performed by Reeves Gabrels)

    Provenance

    Before 1986, E.V. Wurlitzer Music, Boston, Massachusetts; October 1986, sold by E. V. Wurlitzer Music to Reeves Gabrels, Nashville, Tennessee; 2009, gift of Gabrels to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    76.5 x 19 x 4.5 cm (30 1/8 x 7 1/2 x 1 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2800

    Medium or Technique

    Carbon graphite, nickel silver, steel, plastic, brass

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    • audio

      MIAudio97.mp3

  • Electric guitar (Bar Rashi model)

    about 1990
    Avraham Bar Rashi (formerly Allan Gittler, 1928–2003)

    Object Place, Kiriyat Arba, Israel

    Description

    Provenance

    About 1990, Avraham Bar Rashi (a.k.a. Allan Gittler), Kiriyat Arba, Israel; 2000, sold by Bar Rashi to David Kean, Calgary; 2009, sold by Kean to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 81.1 x 18 x 3.7 cm (31 15/16 x 7 1/16 x 1 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2413

    Medium or Technique

    Olive wood

    Not On View

    Collections

    Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Electric guitar (Fly Artist model)

    1999
    Parker Guitars (American American)

    Object Place, Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    1999, gift of the maker to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 31, 1999)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Parker Guitars

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 96.5 cm, width 32 cm, depth 4 cm (Length 38 in., width 12 5/8 in., depth 1 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1999.739

    Medium or Technique

    Spruce, carbon-glass fiber, plastic, steel, nickel silver

    Not On View

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    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Modular electric/acoustic guitar

    1999
    Designed by Tim White, Designed by Steven B Mosher

    Object Place, New Boston, New Hampshire, United States

    Description

    Frame, soundboard grills, neck, headstock, and bridge of epoxy/graphite composite. Two-piece frame assembles at center with keyhole joining plate. Neck attaches to frame with metal spline in groove. Headstock (with strings already attached to tuning machines and bridge) attaches to neck with two metal rods inserted in holes. Schaller-brand “Mini” tuning machines. Fingerboard of phenolic impregnated plys of birch with twenty-two frets of metal alloy. Bridge (with Fishman-brand piezo pickup) hooks into soundboard grills. Strings brought to tension with cam lever on back of headstock. Shell of denim attaches to rim of body with Velcro; balloon of Mylar inside inflates with nozzle of polyethylene, stopped with 260-caliber rifle bullet. Instrument disassembles for storage in attaché-type case; includes pre-amp, tuner, and tools.

    Provenance

    2000, gift of the maker to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 24, 2001)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Tim White, Chrysalis Guitars, New Boston, New Hampshire

    Copyright

    © 2006 Timothy P. White

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 101 cm, width 38.5 cm, depth 3 cm (Length 39 3/4 in., width 15 3/16 in., depth 1 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.1059

    Medium or Technique

    Carbon graphite, Mylar, cloth

    Not On View

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    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    • audio

      MIAudio9.mp3

  • Chapman Stick

    2000
    Stick Enterprises, Inc. (American American)

    Object Place, Woodland Hills, California, United States

    Description

    “Touchboard” instrument with slender body constructed from seven laminations of satine wood, terminating in pointed headstock. Twenty-four fret rods of stainless steel and five circular fret markers of iridescent paua shell. Adjustable square-section truss rod of stainless steel. “Nut” comprised of steel height-adjustable saddle screws for each string. One-piece bridge/tailpiece unit of plastic with height-adjustable screws similar to nut. Electro-magnetic stereo pickups housed in module of black plastic. Ten strings grouped into treble and bass. Adjustable shoulder strap of leather and belt hook of black plastic. Plastic storage case. Overall length 1105 mm, width 83 mm, depth 43 mm, string length 855 mm.

    Inscription

    Marked on oval plate on headstock: Stick / fretboard tapping / instruments / TOUCHBOARD PRODUCTS / MADE IN U.S.A. BY / STICK ENTERPRISES, INC. / LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA / …; stamped on headstock: 1633

    Provenance

    2000, sold by the maker to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott

    Copyright

    "Stick" is a federally registered trademark of Stick Enterprises and is used with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 110.5 cm, width 8.3 cm, depth 4.3 cm (Length 43 1/2 in., width 3 1/4 in., depth 1 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.581

    Medium or Technique

    Satine wood, paua shell

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Lap steel guitar (No. 1 Hawaiian guitar model)

    about 1936
    Manufactured by Dobro Company (American American)

    Object Place, Los Angeles, California, United States

    Description

    Body, neck, headstock, and nut constructed from one piece of cast aluminum. Lyre logo and elongated F-holes cast into body. Back of body and neck covered with brown felt. Tuning machines of nickel silver. Fingerboard of rosewood with fret markers of pearl dots and twenty-six frets of nickel silver. Split-blade pickup with two knurled screws for height adjustment. Bridge cover of nickel silver. Volume and tone knobs of white plastic. Body and neck painted brown with faux wood grain, accented by gold paint in recesses of body. Original hard-shell case. Four slides of steel (one old), two finger picks of metal and two of plastic. Amplifier of plywood covered by tweed-patterned cloth with three green and black stripes. Circular cover for speaker of perforated aluminum.

    Markings

    Cast into body: DOBRO; stamped on back of headstock: A252; inscribed inside amplifier: National / Dobro Amplifier / SER. NO. 5090 MODEL 13-16 / …

    Provenance

    1936, sold by Roger Morse, Brockton, Massachusetts, to his student, William E. Metta (b. 1915), Massachusetts; 2000, sold by Metta to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 13, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott

    Details

    Dimensions

    Guitar: length 94.5 cm, width 26.8 cm, depth 4.8 cm (Length 37 3/16 in., width 10 9/16 in., depth 1 7/8 in.) Amplifier: height 35.5 cm, width 38.4 cm, depth 23.4 cm (height 14 in., width 15 1/8 in., depth 9 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.1016.1

    Medium or Technique

    Aluminum, rosewood, plastic

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Lap steel guitar (New Yorker model)

    1947
    Valco (National brand) (American), Design attributed to Victor Smith (American American)

    Object Place, Chicago, Illinois, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    Around 1990, sold at a guitar show, Dallas, Texas, to Brian Fischer, Dover, New Hampshire; 2009, gift of Fischer to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 25, 2009)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Brian Fischer

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 73.2 cm, diameter 17.8 cm (Length 28 13/16 in., diameter 7 in.)

    Accession Number

    2009.2223

    Medium or Technique

    Wood, plastic

    On View

    John Axelrod Gallery (Gallery 326)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Lap steel guitar (Ultratone model)

    about 1949
    Gibson, Inc. (American)

    Object Place, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

    Description

    Body, neck, and headstock constructed from one piece of maple painted cream white. Access panel on back of hardboard painted black. Tuning machines of nickel silver with knobs of coral-colored plastic. Fingerboard of lucite, back-painted silver, with gold and coral colored dot fret markers. Twenty-nine frets. Hinged covers of plastic over pickup (coral colored) and peghead (silver and white). Cylindrical volume and tone knobs of clear plastic with gold-colored cores. Original hard-shell case.

    Inscription

    Inscribed on cover plates: Gibson [and] ULTRATONE

    Provenance

    About 1990, sold by Gruhn Guitars, Nashville, Tennessee, to Walter Carter, Nashville, Tennessee; 2001, sold by Carter to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 25, 2001)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by the Gibson Guitar Corporation

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 83 cm, width 20.5 cm, depth 4.7 cm (Length 32 11/16 in., width 8 1/16 in., depth 1 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2001.239

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, plastic, steel

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio136.mp3

  • Lap steel guitar (Dynamic model)

    1952
    Valco (National brand) (American)

    Object Place, Chicago, Illinois, United States

    Description

    Lap steels were the first commercially successful electric guitars. As they were relatively straightforward to construct and not bound by any previous traditions, their designers made abundant use of new materials, exciting colors, and marvelous shapes. The curved shapes of the headstock, body, and control knob plates all suggest the streamlined look that was still prevalent when the Dynamic model was first introduced in the 1940s, while the pattern of stepped fret markers owes more to the slightly older fashion of Art Deco. The lap steel is played with a steel pick that that slides up and down the strings to produce sound.

    Provenance

    About 1991, sold by source unidentified to Walter Carter, Nashville, Tennessee; 2006, sold by Carter to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 22, 2006)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Byron Poon, by exchange

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.3 x 16.5 x 3.8 cm (32 x 6 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2006.1884

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, plastic, steel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Lap steel guitar (BD model)

    about 1950
    Electro String Instrument Corporation (Rickenbacker brand) (American)

    Object Place, Los Angeles, California, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    2006, Gerald Montei of Caro, Michigan; 2007, with Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan; sold by Elderly Instruments to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 24, 2007).

    Credit Line

    Ernest Kahn Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 24.1 x 5.1 x 73.7 cm (9 1/2 x 2 x 29 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.783

    Medium or Technique

    Bakelite, steel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio137.mp3

  • Lyre guitar

    about 1805
    Joseph Pons (French, born in 1776)

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of mahogany. Belly of fine-grain spruce with two soundholes composed of six comma-shaped openings. Five-line purfling along edges of belly and encircling soundholes. Back and belly edged with binding of ebony. Moldings of ebony along base of body. Neck and both faces of headstock veneered with brown wood with black streaks. Arms of body joined to headstock with rods of gilded brass terminating in acorn-shaped ends. Tuning pegs (unmatched set) of ebony and rosewood. Fingerboard of ebony with thirteen frets of ivory. Nut of bone. Bridge and bridge pins of ebony. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on back and two on belly below soundholes.

    Inscription

    Printed label on inside of back below each soundhole: PONS, fils, / LUTHIER, / Rue du Grand Hurleur; / No. 5 / A PARIS, an 18

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 78 cm, width 33.6 cm (Length 30 11/16 in., width 13 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1768

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments

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  • Lyre guitar

    1810

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of satinwood. Belly of fine-grain spruce with binding of ebony. Triple-line stringing along edges of belly and encircling soundholes. Two rosettes composed of gilded eight-petal flowers and leaves. Engraved and monogrammed shield of pearl inlaid into belly. Moldings of ebony along base of body. Neck of ebonized wood. Fluted columns of mahogany supporting yoke of gilded wood, terminating in carved spirals with acanthus leaves and pineapple at center. Tuning pegs of ebony. Fingerboard of ebony with fifteen frets of nickel silver (?). Nut of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood and pearl, terminating in “moustaches.” Bridge pins of ebony. Imitation gemstones at center of rosettes, yoke spirals, bridge pins, and tuning pegs. Buttons of ebony and pearl at heel of neck base of body for player’s strap. Original coffin-type case of wood lined with green wool, bearing same monogram as on instrument.

    Inscription

    Engraved into pearl shield on belly: Pons Fils/ A/ PARIS/ 1810

    Markings

    Engraved into pearl shield on belly: Pons Fils / A / PARIS / 1810

    Provenance

    By 2000, sold by a dealer, France, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2000, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 25, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 87.5 cm, width 45.8 cm (Length 34 7/16 in., width 18 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.972

    Medium or Technique

    Satinwood, spruce, mahogany, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, nickel silver, sheep gut, silver, semi-precious stones, paste

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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      MIAudio72.mp3

  • Harp-lute-guitar

    about 1810
    Invented by Edward Light (English, 1747–1832), Made by A. Barry (English, active early 19th century)

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Back comprised of seven ribs of maple, with narrow oval soundhole at center. Belly of medium-grain spruce with separate carved rose in foliate pattern. Rose, edges of belly and field of belly decorated with gilt foliate designs. Gold and red stripes outlining back and bottom of body. Neck, pegboxes, and fingerboard of ebonized wood. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood with buttons of ivory. Nuts and twelve frets of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood. Seven main strings and four diapason strings. Medium brown varnish. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Painted on ribbon on soundboard: LIGHT INVR. BARRY MAKER

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 93.6 cm, width 35.8 cm, depth 15 cm (Length 36 7/8 in., width 14 1/8 in., depth 5 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1770

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio68.mp3

  • Harp-lute

    about 1815
    Invented by Edward Light (English, 1747–1832), Probably manufactured by A. Barry (English, active early 19th century)

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Back comprised of seven ribs of mahogany (?), with narrow oval soundhole at center. Belly of fine-grain spruce decorated with gilt scrolling patterns. Back and bottom of body outlined by gold stripes. Separate carved soundhole insert of gilded wood in cross and sunburst pattern. Neck, harmonic curve, and support column of maple (?).Tuning pins of iron. Fingerboard of ebonized wood with eight frets of ivory. Three loops of brass on harmonic curve for raising pitch of strings and small capo of brass on fingerboard between first and second frets, affecting fifth and sixth strings. Nuts of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood. Seven main strings and five diapason strings. Ebonized varnish. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Gilt lettering on neck: LIGHT LONDON / Foley Place

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 85.7 cm, width 35.6 cm, depth 14.5 cm (Length 33 3/4 in., width 14 in., depth 5 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1769

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Guitar-harp

    about 1825
    Mordaunt Levien (French)

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    Arched back comprised of three wide ribs of maple, each separated by strips of ebony, with oval soundhole at center. Belly of fine-grained spruce. Multi-line binding of ebony and ivory around edges of belly and encircling soundhole. Separate carved soundhole insert of gilded wood with French royal arms and sunburst pattern. Neck and headstock of ebonized wood; headstock surmounted by gilded face of Apollo on sunburst pattern. Tuning pins of brass. Fingerboard of ebony with twelve frets of ivory. Nut and saddle of ivory. Bridge, bridge pins, and end button of ebony and pearl. Capo and three studs (“pedals”) of brass for raising pitch of strings 4, 5, and 6 with thumb. Seven strings. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Engraved on pearl plaque: LEVIEN / Inventeur & Breveté

    Provenance

    By 2000, sold at auction, London, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2000, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2000)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott and an anonymous donor

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 84 cm, width 32.8 cm, depth 14.3 cm (Length 33 1/16 in., width 12 15/16 in., depth 5 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.632

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, brass, sheep gut, silver

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio8.mp3

  • Harpo-lyre

    about 1830
    Jean-Francois Salomon (French, 1786–1831)

    Object Place, Besancon, France

    Description

    Inscription

    Stamped in ink at lower end of belly: SALOMON / BREVETE / .. 41 [?]

    Provenance

    Before 2006, sold by a dealer, France, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2006, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 21, 2006)

    Credit Line

    Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 100 cm, width 43.3 cm (Length 39 3/8 in., width 17 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2006.1221

    Medium or Technique

    Satinwood, spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, baleen(?), brass, nickel silver, silver, sheep gut

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio113.mp3

  • Harpo-lyre

    about 1830

    Object Place, France

    Description

    Guitar-shaped body (in lower part) with slightly curved back of polished mahogany. Ribs of mahogany. Sound-board of pine; three sounnd-holes with marquetry inlay around the edges. The upper part of the body has three extensions, to which are affixed three necks, the middle one being shorter than the side necks. Head-board, veneered with mahogany on both sides, slightly inclined with respect to the necks, of ornamental arched outline with worm and worm-wheel peg adjusting mechanism fixed at the back, end of pegs passing through clearance holes and extending in front about 15 cm. Right-hand and left-hand necks have finger-boards flush with sound-board and are furnished with fifteen brass frets each. The middle finger-board extends over the sound-board almost to the sound-hole and has nineteen frets. Strings: sound-board fastening type; three groups fastened by buttons to a long ebony cross-bar with three ivory bridges inserted in it; three ivory nuts in their respective necks. Number of strings; right-hand neck, eight spun silk; middle neck, three gut, three spun silk; left-hand neck, seven spun silk. Short steel rest at bottom.

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 100 cm, width 43.3 cm (Length 39 3/8 in., width 17 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1755

    Medium or Technique

    Rosewood, spruce

    Not On View

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    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Arch-cittern (syron)

    1757
    Remerus Liessem (English, active about 1750–1760 English)

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-grain spruce with separate carved rose of wood in sunburst and foliate design. Soundhole encircled by inked decoration in geometric patterns. Neck and extended pegbox of maple, terminating in square finial, decorated with triangles of ebony and ivory. Tuning pegs of ebonized wood. Fingerboard of ebony inlaid with three five-pointed stars of bone or ivory; thirteen frets of brass. Diapason nut and saddle of ivory. Main nut, end button, and bridge of ebonized wood; bridge with cap of ivory. Eleven pegs of ivory and five pins of brass at lower end of body for fastening strings. Sixteen strings: one single and five pairs on fingerboard, and five diapasons. Medium brown varnish.

    Inscription

    Handwritten label: REMERUS LIESSEM / fecit Londini 1757; stamped on back: R. Liessem

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 90 cm, width 31.3 cm (Length 35 7/16 in., width 12 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1749

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

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    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Cittern (English guitar)

    about 1770
    John Preston (English, died in 1 died in 1798 English)

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Pear-shaped body of red-brown varnished maple. Sound-board with rose; round sound-hole surrounded by yellow lines. Vertical ribs, back flat except the upper part, which inclines toward the neck. Ebony finger-board with twelve brass frets and four holes for the capotasto. The peg-box of the usual type is replaced by Preston’s ‘machine.’ The neck ends with scroll bent bacward to provide clearance for the tuning-key and is surmounted by a small head. Strings: six courses, two lower ones of spun wire and four higher ones of steel in pairs, making ten strings altogether; lower end fastening (small brass pins in the bottom); shallow movable bridge, ivory nut; frontal type tuning end fastening; looped ends of strings attached to movable hooks.

    Inscription

    Stamped on baCk of headstock: [monogram: JRP] / PRESTON MAKER / LONDON; engraved on machine tuners: PRESTON INVENTOR

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 69 cm, width 29 cm (Length 27 3/16 in., width 11 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1747

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Archcittern

    1789

    Object Place, Paris, France

    Description

    Inscription

    Printed label: RENAULT & CHATELAIN, rue de Braque, au / coin de la rue Ste. Avoy., A Paris, 17[handwritten: 89]; stamped at top of back and below rose: S. RENAULT / A PARIS

    Provenance

    Before 1954, Charles Enel (1880-1954), Paris, France; 1954, by descent to his successor, Frederic Royer (1926-2005), Paris, France; 2001, sold by Royer to Jean Michel Renard, Bellenaves, France; 2006, sold by Renard to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 21, 2006)

    Credit Line

    Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund

    Details

    Accession Number

    2006.1223

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
    Multimedia
    • audio

      MIAudio115.mp3

  • Cittern (English guitar)

    1750–1800
    Lucas (English, active 18th century English)

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Rose of stamped brass in sunburst design encircled by musical instruments, with retaining ring of ivory. Neck and sickle-shaped head of maple terminating in square finial veneered with ivory set in black mastic. Watch-key tuning mechanism of brass. Fingerboard of maple (?), inlaid with flowers and circles of engraved pearl, and decorated at upper and lower end with engraved plaques of ivory. Four holes for capo and fifteen frets of brass. Nut missing. Bridge of ebonized wood. Ten pegs (only one extant) of ivory at lower end of body for fastening strings. Ten strings in five pairs. Medium brown varnish. Internal construction: Three lateral braces on back and two on belly (lowest brace angled).

    Inscription

    Handwritten label: Lucas maker ... / [G]uittar on Silver [Street] / [Go]lden Square London

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 68 cm, width 29.7 cm (Length 26 3/4 in., width 11 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1746

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, mother-of-pearl, brass

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Cittern (English guitar)

    late 18th century

    Object Place, England

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-grain spruce. Edges of back and belly edged with binding of ebony. Painted purfling along edges of back, ribs, and belly, and encircling soundhole. Rose of stamped brass with bird amongst foliage, and retaining ring of ivory. Neck and sickle-shaped head of maple terminating in square finial veneered with various woods. Watch-key tuning mechanism of brass. Fingerboard of ebony with three holes for capo and twelve frets of brass. Nut, saddle, and capo of ivory with wing nut of brass. Bridge of ebonized wood with cap of ivory. Ten pegs of ivory at lower end of body for fastening strings. Ten strings: two singles and four pairs. Amber varnish. Original case of wood covered with leather.

    Provenance

    1927, gift of Mary C. Wheelwright, Boston, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 22, 2007)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Mary C. Wheelwright

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 72.5 cm, width 30.6 cm (Length 28 9/16 in., width 12 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.2241

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, brass

    Not On View

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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    Multimedia
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      MIAudio65.mp3

  • Keyed cittern (English guitar)

    late 18th century

    Object Place, England

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of maple. Belly of fine-grain spruce with painted purfling encircling soundhole. Back and belly edged with binding of dark brown wood. Stamped rose of brass with figures playing flute and hurdy gurdy, and retaining ring of ivory. Neck and sickle-shaped head of maple terminating in square finial veneered with wood and ivory. Watch-key tuning mechanism of brass. Fingerboard of ebony with three holes for capo and twelve frets of brass. Nut, saddle, and end button of ivory. Bridge of ebonized wood. Ten pins of brass at lower end of body for fastening strings. Ten strings: two singles and four pairs. “Smith’s patent box” screwed to body, with six keys of ivory and hammer mechanism for striking strings. Amber varnish. Internal construction: Six lateral braces on back and X-bracing on belly.

    Inscription

    Stamped on key-box: SMITH / PATENT BOX / [royal arms] / LONDON

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 72.5 cm, width 30.5 cm (Length 28 9/16 in., width 12 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1748

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ebony, brass

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Keyed cittern (English guitar)

    1798
    Distributed by Longman & Broderip (English, active 1776–1798)

    Object Place, London, England

    Description

    Pear-shaped body with flat back. Back, ribs, and neck of slab-cut maple. Belly of spruce with slightly-domed ivory rose, carved and pierced with six-pointed stars, urn with swags, and monogram “A R L.” Black single-line stringing and painted green leaves encircling rose and perimeter of back and belly. Back and belly edged with barber-pole binding. Fingerboard of ivory with thirteen brass frets and four holes for capo tasto bar of ivory with brass wing-nut. Sickle-shaped head with square finial faced with tortoiseshell. Watch-key-type tuning mechanism of brass engraved with foliate designs. Nut and bridge of ivory. Amber-colored varnish. Six courses of strings in two singles, two pairs and two triples, hitched to ivory buttons at bottom. Integral, piano-hammer action with six leather-covered hammers (removable through end of body) striking strings through holes in rose. Mother-of-pearl piano keys covered by silver housing engraved with monogram and foliate border. Two knobs of ivory at end of body for neck strap and action removal. Includes leather-bound wood case stamped with various patterns.

    Inscription

    Stamped on back of neck: LONGMAN & BRODERIP / No. 26 CHEAPSIDE & / No. 13 HAY-MARKET / LONDON; handwritten in ink on hammer mechanism: T. B / July / 1798 [and] D. P. x

    Provenance

    Before 1998, Michael O'Shea, Brighton, England; by 1998, sold by O'Shea to Sotheby's London; November 4, 1998, sold by Sotheby's London, lot 134, to Tony Bingham for the MFA. (Accession Date: January 27, 1999)

    Credit Line

    Samuel Putnam Avery Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 69.5 cm, width 30.5 cm (Length 27 3/8 in., width 12 in.)

    Accession Number

    1999.1

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce, ivory

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Cittern (Portuguese guitar)

    late 19th century
    José Paulo Ferreira (Portuguese, 19th century Portuguese)

    Object Place, Lisbon, Portugal

    Description

    One-piece back and ribs of walnut. Belly of fine-grain spruce with multi-line purfling along edges and encircling soundhole. Neck and sickle-shaped head of maple terminating in scroll. Watch-key tuning mechanism of brass with knurled knobs fanning out from top. Fingerboard of rosewood with seventeen frets of brass. Nut and saddle of ivory. Bridge of ivory on base of wood. Plate of brass with twelve knobs at lower end of body for fastening strings. Six pairs of strings. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on back (one above soundhole) and three on belly (one above soundhole).

    Inscription

    Printed label: José Paulo Ferreira / Fabricante de violas, guita[rra]s, bandolins e toda / a qualidade de instrumentos de corda / pertemcentes á sua arte / Concerta com perfeicao instruments antigos / R. 24 de Julho. Patoo da Torrinha. 32 / LISBOA / [handwritten: 1372]

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 68.5 cm, width 28.9 cm (Length 26 15/16 in., width 11 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1800

    Medium or Technique

    Walnut, spruce

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Musical Instruments

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Balalaika

    19th century

    Object Place, Russia

    Description

    Body comprised of six ribs of spruce. Belly of medium-grain spruce. Neck and headstock of spruce. No separate fingerboard; five extant tied-on frets of gut. Tuning pegs, nut, and bridge of wood. Saddle of ebony. Three pegs of wood at lower end of body for fastening strings. Internal construction: Two lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole).

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 63 cm, width 31.2 cm, depth 8.1 cm (Length 24 13/16 in., width 12 5/16 in., depth 3 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1750

    Medium or Technique

    Spruce, pine

    Not On View

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    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Balalaika

    19th century

    Object Place, Russia

    Description

    Provenance

    2005, gift of the New England Conservatory to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 27, 2005)

    Credit Line

    Gift of the New England Conservatory of Music

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 63.3 cm, width 33.6 cm, depth 9.2 cm (Length 24 15/16 in., width 13 1/4 in., depth 3 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2005.207

    Medium or Technique

    Birch, spruce

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Tamburica

    19th century

    Object Place, Croatia

    Description

    One-piece carved back of hardwood. One-piece belly of cypress (?) with upper panel of hardwood. Seventeen small holes in belly. Triangular-shaped neck, headstock, and tuning pegs of hardwood. No separate fingerboard; sixteen frets and string guard (beyond nut) of iron. Separate piece of wood at bottom of body with two knobs for fastening strings. Two pairs of strings

    Provenance

    Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

    Credit Line

    Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 59.8 cm, width 10.7 cm, depth 5.5 cm (Length 23 9/16 in., width 4 3/16 in., depth 2 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.1757

    Medium or Technique

    Fruitwood

    Not On View

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    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

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  • Banjo

    about 1845–55
    William Esperance Boucher, Jr. (American, 1822–1899 American)

    Object Place, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

    Description

    Inscription

    Stamped at base of neck: W. BOUCHER, JR. / BALTIMORE

    Provenance

    About 1996, sold by source unidentified, Harrisonburg, Virginia, to James Bollman, Arlington, Massachusetts; 2007, sold by Bollman to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 21, 2007)

    Credit Line

    Helen B. Sweeney Fund and Seth K. Sweetser Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 30.9 x 9 x 94.7 cm (12 3/16 x 3 9/16 x 37 5/16 in.) String length: 60 cm (23 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.51

    Medium or Technique

    Oak, maple

    On View

    David and Stacey Goel Gallery (Gallery 239)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Banjo

    about 1850–60

    Object Place, United States

    Description

    Rim of mahogany inlaid with strips of maple and other woods. Tone ring of iron with eight hooks of brass on shield-shaped plates. Neck and headstock of mahogany. Tuning pegs (mostly modern) of boxwood. No separate fingerboard. Nut of ebony. Bridge (modern) of pine. Stringholder of mahogany.

    Provenance

    1966, sold by Bill Lyons, Brookline, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 13, 1982)

    Credit Line

    William Lindsey Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 110 cm, diameter 33.5 cm (Length 43 5/16 in., diameter 13 3/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    66.1130

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, iron

    Not On View

    Collections

    Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Banjo

    about 1860
    James Ashborn (American, 1824–1876)

    Object Place, Wolcottville (now Torrington), Connecticut, United States

    Description

    Inscription

    Stamped on headstock: J. ASHBORN / PATENTED / 1852; stamped on perch pole: WM A. POND & CO / NEW-YORK

    Provenance

    1997, Cobb's Auction, Peterborough, NH, to James Bollman, Arlington, MA; sold by James Bollman to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 12, 2007)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated anonymously and by the Barrington Foundation, Inc.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 91 cm, diameter 33.9 cm (Length 35 3/16 in., diameter 13 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.975

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, rosewood, iron

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Banjo

    1895
    Icilio Consalvi (American (born in Italy), 1865–1951 American (born in Italy))

    Object Place, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Provenance

    After 1895, by descent to the maker's family; 1990s, Consalvi and Pidgeon families; 2006, gift of the families to MFA. (Accession Date: December 13, 2006)

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Consalvi and Pidgeon Families

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 88.9 x 27.9 cm (35 x 11 in.)

    Accession Number

    2006.1928

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, ebony, mother-of-pearl, abalone, ivory, silver, semi-precious stones

    On View

    Jan and Warren Adelson Gallery (Gallery 221)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Banjo (banjeaurine)

    about 1897–98
    John C. Haynes and Company (American)

    Object Place, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Rim of mahogany. Tone ring of nickel silver with thirty-one hooks with ball-end nuts. Neck and headstock of mahogany. Headstock veneered on back with ebonized wood. Tuning pegs of ivory carved in openwork pattern. Fingerboard of ebony with binding of ivory and twenty-two frets of nickel silver. Fingerboard and headstock inlaid with engraved pearl in tree-of-life pattern. Neck heel inlaid with pearl in monogram of original owner. Nut and stringholder of ivory. Period bridge of ebony.

    Inscription

    Stamped on perch pole: BAY STATE/ JOHN C. HAYNES & CO./ BOSTON

    Provenance

    Before 1948, Willoughby H. Stuart, Jr., (1874-1948), Cambridge, Massachusetts [whose initials are inlaid on the neck]; 1948, by descent to his daughter, Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-1981), New York; 1981, by inheritance to her husband, Joseph R. Coolidge (1916-1999), New York; 1981, gift of Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 9, 1981)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Joseph and Peggy Stuart Coolidge in memory of her father, Willoughby H. Stuart, Jr.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 75.7 cm, diameter 25.5 cm (Length 29 13/16 in., diameter 10 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1981.655

    Medium or Technique

    Mahogany, nickel silver, ebony, mother-of-pearl, ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Banjo (Whyte Laydie model, style no. 7)

    about 1904
    A. C. Fairbanks Co. (American, 1891–1893)

    Object Place, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Rim of maple with banding of plastic in tortoiseshell pattern and stringing of wood at lower edge in herringbone pattern. “Whyte Laydie” style tone ring system of nickel silver with thirty-one “cobra” hooks and hexagonal ball-end nuts. Period adjustable wire arm rest of nickel silver. Neck of maple, carved in foliate design at heel. Headstock of maple sandwiched between pieces of ebonized pearwood or maple. Tuning pegs of gold-plated brass with knobs of pearl. Fingerboard of ebony with binding of ivory and twenty frets of nickel silver. Fingerboard, neck heel, and both faces of headstock inlaid with pearl engraved with foliate designs and head of griffin. Nut of ivory. Bridge (later) of maple.

    Inscription

    Engraved into nickel silver plate on perch pole: The A. C. FAIRBANKS Co. / MAKERS / BOSTON, MASS.; stamped on perch-pole: 23490 WHYTE LAYDIE NO 7

    Provenance

    About 1991, sold by Jim Bollman, Arlington, Massachusetts, to a street performer, New York; 1997, sold by same street performer to Jim Bollman; 1997, sold by Jim Bollman, the Music Emporium, Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts, to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 21, 1997)

    Credit Line

    Foster Charitable Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 95 cm, diameter 30.3 cm (Length 37 3/8 in., diameter 11 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1997.64

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, nickel silver, celluloid, ebony, mother-of-pearl

    On View

    Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Lute (after Renaissance type)

    1962
    Donald Warnock (American, 1919–1997 American)

    Object Place, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Back comprised of eleven ribs of maple with capping strip. Multi-piece belly of fine-grain spruce with carved rose in geometrical pattern. Neck and tuning pegs of mahogany. Pegbox of beech. Fingerboard veneered with pearwood (?), edged with paduak (?). Eight tied-on frets of gut and four frets of beech. Nut of ivory. Bridge of maple. End button of boxwood. Eleven strings: one single and five pairs. Amber varnish on back. Hardshell case lined with blue felt.

    Inscription

    Handwritten label: Donald Warnock/ fecit 1962/ Made after lute appearing in/ the "Presentation in the Temple"/ of Vittore Carpaccio, Venice./ Alto Lute, model #1/ 2 Brewer St. Cambridge, Mass.; etched on plaque at bottom of body: J.D.W./ 1962

    Provenance

    1963, sold by the maker to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 13, 1982)

    Credit Line

    William Lindsey Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 73.7 cm, width 35.4 cm, depth 17.7 cm (Length 29 in., width 13 15/16 in., depth 6 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    63.3049

    Medium or Technique

    Maple, spruce

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info
  • Vihuela (after Renaissance type)

    1964
    Donald Warnock (American, 1919–1997 American)

    Object Place, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

    Description

    Two-piece back and ribs of pearwood. Multi-piece belly of fine-grain spruce with binding of paduak (?) and inlays of holly (?) and cedar (?) diamond patterns. Separate carved rose of wood in geometrical pattern. Neck of rosewood. Headstock of nine plys of rosewood and maple. Tuning pegs of ebony (?). Fingerboard of paduak (?) with ten tied-on frets of gut. Nut of ivory. Bridge of paduak (?) with cap of rosewood. Twelve strings in six pairs.

    Inscription

    Handwritten label: Vihuela de mano/ en sol/ [in different ink: #1]/ made June 1964 by/ Donald Warnock/ Cambridge Mass; printed below heel: DONALD WARNOCK/ made this 1964

    Provenance

    1967, sold by the maker to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 13, 1982)

    Credit Line

    William Lindsey Fund

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Length 99.5 cm, width 27.1 cm (Length 39 3/16 in., width 10 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    67.1232

    Medium or Technique

    Pearwood, spruce, rosewood

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    More Info

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