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English guitar

There are four penlines round the rose-hole on this English guittar. Strung with six courses of strings, the upper four double, and have twelve metal frets inset into the ebony fingerboard. The strings are tuned by a brass mechanism, in which the tension is controlled by a watch-key inserted into a row of ten little holes in the head. These operate ten brass pegs, carrying the strings, which slide along ten vertical slots in the face of the machine. The head grafted onto the neck is sickle-shaped in order to give access to the keyholes. This device, which prevents the strings going slack by accident and gives a fine degree of control over the short wire strings. These are strung over an ivory saddle on the lower edge and are fixed to ten ivory pins in the base above an ivory button, which may have been inserted to protect the pins from damage.

  • Date:
    1734 - 1770
  • Maker:
    Preston, John [Person]
  • Collection:
    Ashmolean Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    London (Timezone: Europe/London)
  • Culture:
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  • Inscriptions:inscription/mark: PRESTON *INVENTOR / CEGCEG (engraved on head with individual tuning notes)|inscription/mark: JP / PRESTON MAKER / LONDON (stamped on the back of the pegbox with monogram with crown)
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Ashmolean Museum
  • Measurements:670 mm length; 352 mm body length; 290 mm body max. (back) width; 54 mm body (neck) depth; 72.5 mm body (tail) depth; 421 mm string length