about 1825
Mordaunt Levien (French)

Object Place: Paris, France


Length 84 cm, width 32.8 cm, depth 14.3 cm (Length 33 1/16 in., width 12 15/16 in., depth 5 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, brass, sheep gut, silver

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Arched back comprised of three wide ribs of maple, each separated by strips of ebony, with oval soundhole at center. Belly of fine-grained spruce. Multi-line binding of ebony and ivory around edges of belly and encircling soundhole. Separate carved soundhole insert of gilded wood with French royal arms and sunburst pattern. Neck and headstock of ebonized wood; headstock surmounted by gilded face of Apollo on sunburst pattern. Tuning pins of brass. Fingerboard of ebony with twelve frets of ivory. Nut and saddle of ivory. Bridge, bridge pins, and end button of ebony and pearl. Capo and three studs (“pedals”) of brass for raising pitch of strings 4, 5, and 6 with thumb. Seven strings. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on belly (one above soundhole).


Engraved on pearl plaque: LEVIEN / Inventeur & Breveté


By 2000, sold at auction, London, to Tony Bingham, London, England; 2000, sold by Bingham to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 26, 2000)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Bradford M. and Dorothea R. Endicott and an anonymous donor