Guitar-shaped violin

about 1820

Object Place: Paris, France


Length 59 cm, width 21 cm (Length 23 1/4 in., width 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Maple, spruce, ivory, ebony

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Musical Instruments



One-piece back and ribs of maple. Ribs made of one continuous piece, separated at bottom by ebony strip. Two-piece belly of fine-grain spruce. Edges of belly, back, and banana-shaped soundholes bound with ivory and ebony. Back and belly flush with ribs. Neck and pegbox of maple, with reverse scroll. Tuning pegs of rosewood (?). Fingerboard, heel cap, and end button of ebony. Guitar-type string-fastener of ebony with four pins and saddle of ivory glued to belly. Bridge (later) of maple. Yellow-brown varnish. Waist decorated on both sides with polychrome insects. Internal construction: Regular-type liners. Bass bar in regular position.


Before 2000, a collector, West Coast of the United States; by 2000, sold by collector to Christie's New York; 2000, sold by Christie's to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 21, 2000)

Credit Line

Samuel Putnam Avery Fund