Guitar-lyre (chitarra-lyra ad un braccio)

about 1925
Luigi Mozzani (Italian, 1869–1943)

Object Place: Cento, Italy


Overall: 99 x 94 cm (39 x 37 in.) Lender accessory (Case): 102.9 x 43.2 cm (40 1/2 x 17 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Mahogany, spruce, walnut, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, silver, steel, nickel silver, sheep gut

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Mozzani began designing his own instruments in the late 19th century, when he became dissatisfied with the small parlor-type guitars that were common in Italy at the time. He established schools of lutherie in Bologna, Cento, and Roverto. This instrument’s design reflects the Art Nouveau style of the early twentieth century, with an organic, curvilinear shape that is derived from nature. One of the more interesting technical features of Mozzani’s harp guitars is a bolt-on neck, the angle of which can be easily adjusted.


In the 1980s, sold by Tony Vescoli (former guitarist with Les Sauterelles, a.k.a. The Swiss Beatles), Zurich, Switzerland, to Roger Bruderlin. By 2007, Frederick W. Oster, Vintage Instruments, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2007, sold by Oster to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 27, 2007)

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund