Cither viol (converted from pardessus de viole)

François Vaillan (French, active 1736–1783)

Object Place: Paris, France


Length 70.2 cm, width 19 cm (Length 27 5/8 in., width 7 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Deep model. Standard viol pattern. Flat back of maple. Belly of soft pine, slightly arched two C-holes. Ribs of maple. Neck of maple with a long peg-box ending in cittern-like head with inlaid square end. Finger- board of stained boxwood. Tail-piece affixed by a brass wire to the tail- pin. Ten strings; two lowest of brass wire strung singly; the remaining eight are of steel wire and strung in pairs, thus making a total of six ‘choirs.’ Ten ebony pegs. Movable bridge, ivory nut. Inside construction: corner fillets of small radius; cross strip 4.5 cm. wide and 2.5 mm. thick, glued to the back. Bass-bar and sound-post. Dark brown finish.


Manuscript label: Francois vaillan / rue Debussy 1721 / a paris


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