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Guitar. The instrument incorporates features of the normal guitar and of the chitarra battente, in that it has a flat back and bent-back table. There is mother of pearl purfling around sound hole, and scrolling patterns elsewhere on the table executed in mastic. The bridge is crude but there are marks of an earlier, moustachioed bridge. The lower end of the table has been reinforced, indicating the guitar had metal strings. The back is made from alternating strips of ebony and ivory. The back of the neck is inlaid with a chequered pattern of ebony and ivory. The fingerboard has eight ivory frets. The pegbox is drilled for ten pegs with only six rear entrant pegs. This suggests the guitar originally had five double courses of strings rather than six single courses. In the centre of the pegbox, above the nut is a hole, probably for a button which would have carried the strap. There are three metal and three gut strings. On the ribs are two strips of ivory bearing penwork illustrations of biblical scenes from Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, through Noah's ark to the building of the tower of Babel. The fingerboard is decorated with two ivory panels and the remains of a third which has been cut down to fit the neck. One panel depicts Orpheus charming the beasts, and the other bears an Italian(?) heraldic device showin a tree with a star in the sinister chief. The oval escutcheon is surrounded by a quotation from 'Il pastor fido' by Giovanni Battista Guarini (1590): 'LA TRAMONTANA SVA NON PERDE MAI'. At the base is the date 1626. On the pegbox are two narrow ivory panels depicting scenes of venery.

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  • Materials:ivory, metal gut, wood
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  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.322 Necked box lutes or necked guitars
  • Repository:Horniman Museum and Gardens