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English guitar

Plucked stringed instrument with a pear-shaped, flat-back soundbox. Back and ribs of flamed maple. Spruce top with rose. Neck and sickle-shaped head of lighter wood (maple, boxwood?) terminating in square-shaped finial. Ebony fretwood with twelve brass frets, and three filled holes in the spaces between the 1st and the 4th fret that would have had a capotasto (i.e. a "moving-bridge" normally made of ivory or ebony, fixed with a wing-nut and a bolt). Original Preston watch-key tuning mechanism made of brass. Two single bass strings and remainder four in double courses (wound- and plain-metal), pinned at the bottom of the body. Arched ebony bridge, tipped with ivory strip. Ivory nut and bottom saddle. Twelve-pointed, sunburst-shaped rose made of alternating dark and white wooden strips (ebony and ivory?) surrounded by a lighter wavy-flamed pattern. Fine dark-light-dark painted single-purfling along the soundboard edges, and double-purfling around the rose. Eight-pointed, floral-star marquetry inlay on the finial. This instrument is part of the Albert C. Spencer collection.

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  • Inscriptions:Stamped on back, at heel area: LONGMAN LUKEY & Co. / No. 26 CHEAPSIDE / LONDON|Stamped on the back of the peghead: [George III cypher - crown with GR monogram] / PRESTON MAKER / LONDON|Stamped on the front of the peghead: PRESTON|Engraved on tuner-box: notes letters (CEGCEG) and PRESTON - INVENTOR
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.322 Necked box lutes or necked guitars
  • Repository:Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton
  • Measurements:Height: 700mm; Width: 290mm; Depth: 65mm