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An extremely rare guitar, with a rose, designed and cut from dark brown fruitwood, is set within a circle of mother-of-pearl squares and lozenges. The uncoloured softwood front is edged with ebony, and there is a little leaf-shaped inset of ebony at the centre of the lower edge. The bridge at one time carried curling moustachios that have left a faint trace on the surface of the wood. The pegbox is veneered with ebony with two strips of bone inlay to match the fingerboard. Bone strips run down the sides of the fingerboard. The guitar has survived in excellent condition but it may been opened and repaired at least once. On the wood below the ebony of the fingerboard is an incised blank shield, supported by putti, which is probably purely ornamental. Ten strings in five double courses are tuned by pegs inserted at the rear of the head. The eighteen metal frets, which have been inserted into the fingerboard and continue down the front, are probably not original. A series of little dents along the neck on the treble side suggest that this guitar, also, was at one time fitted with gut frets.

  • Date:
    1680 (?1688)
  • Maker:
    Stradivari, Antonio [Person]
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Cremona (Timezone: Europe/Rome)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:softwood, African blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxynon), maple, boxwood, fruitwood (pear?), lime?, ivory, mother-of-pearl, ebony, bone, metal
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark: ANT:S STRADIVARIVS / CREMONEN: S F. 1680 (carved and filled with mastic on the back of the head)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:995 mm overall length; 471 mm body length; 215 mm upper bout (front) width; 179 mm waist (front) width; 270 mm lower bout (front) width; 99.5 mm body (neck) depth; 109.5 mm body (tail) depth; 739 mm string length