Cittern (Portuguese guitar)

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

Object Place: Lisbon, Portugal


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut, spruce

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



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).


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]


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