Cittern (English guitar)

late 18th century

Object Place: England


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce, ebony, brass

Not On View


Musical Instruments



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.


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

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Mary C. Wheelwright