Archlute (theorbo)

17th or 18th century with later alterations

Object Place: Probably Italy


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


Medium or Technique

Yew, spruce, ebony

Not On View


Musical Instruments



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.


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


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