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A guitar with a deeply rounded back, resembling a lute. Ten pegs, inserted into the back of the head, carry five double courses, which pass through holes in a low bridge and are fixed to five ivory pins at the base. The rose-hole, set within a flamboyant pattern of ivory, ebony, and mother-of-pearl inlay, is filled with five cut layers of gilded parchment or paper. The ornament on the lower front is less well preserved. The wood below the rose is very stained and disfigured by an attempt to conceal cracks on left and right by inserting a pattern of incised tendrils, inlaid with mastic. The remains of moustachios are faintly visible at either end of the bridge. Four panels of mother-of-pearl on the fingerboard are engraved with allegorical figures of Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. Andromeda and the sea monster are engraved on the upper head and a nymph on the lower head. The thirteen ebony flutes of the soundbox, inlaid with scrolling tendrils of inlaid ivory, sprouting leaves, and grotesque heads. The back of the neck is similarly inlaid with animals, satyrs, and humans.

  • Maker:
    Sellas, Giorgio
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Venice (Timezone: Europe/Rome)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:pine, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl, gilded parchment
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark: Giogio [sic] Sellas / alla Stella in / VENETIA / 1627 / Fecit. (Inscribed on mother-of-pearl fron of head)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:938 mm overall length; 446 mm body length; 210 mm upper bout (front) width; 191 mm waist (front) width; 255 mm lower bout (front) width; 73 mm body (neck) depth; 93 mm body (tail) depth; 682 mm string length