Arch-cittern (syron)

Remerus Liessem (English, active about 1750–1760)

Object Place: London, England


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce, ebony

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



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.


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


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