Shield-shaped guitar (Wappengitarre)

about 1835
Probably by Victorin Drassegg (Austrian, 1782–1847)

Object Place: Bregenz, Austria


Length 97.2 cm, width 31 cm (Length 38 1/4 in., width 12 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut, spruce, ebony, ivory, cow bone, mother-of-pearl, sheep gut, copper

Not On View


Europe, Musical Instruments



Back, ribs, and belly of burled walnut veneer over substrate of softwood. Semicircular cutouts encircling soundhole. Neck and pegbox of walnut; neck angle adjustable with watch-key screw at heel. Tuning pegs of ebony with buttons of ivory. Fingerboard of ebony with eighteen frets of ivory. Nut, end button, and decorative domes on headstock of bone. Bridge and bridge pins of ebony. Internal construction: Four lateral braces on back and four on belly (one above soundhole).


Printed label fragment: Laute …


By 2000, sold by a dealer, Germany, 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 Jeffrey and Andrew Remis