Showing results

Hide images


Body with deeply vaulted back and flat sides, all covered with veneered parallel zigzag bands of ebony and ivory. The pine belly is elaborately decorated with delicate arabesque scrolls of turtleshell, framed with bands of a dog's-tooth pattern in turtleshell and mother-of-pearl. The bridge is missing. At a later date the lower parts of the sides have been cut in order to allow the belly to be bent inwards at the level of the bridge. There are five ivory hitch studs at the base of the body. The neck is veneered with marquetry panels of scrollwork in the same materials as the decoration of the belly. The fingerboard has a formal pattern of mother-of-pearl and turtleshell triangles. Nine brass frets have been added and there are six well-worn frets set into the belly, five of them of short width. The head was originally for ten pegs, but four extra pegholes have been bored along the centre line. The pegs are now missing.

  • Date:
    1623 (made)
  • Maker:
    Sellas, Matteo
  • Collection:
    Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Inventory number:
  • Place of production:
    Venice (city)
  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:Ebony and ivory veneer back and sides, pine soundboard, ebony and mother-of-pearl neck and brass frets
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:Io Mateo Selas/ in anno 1623/ per sua altezza Firé a 100 D ,,, ni I, Mateo Selas/ in the year 162/ for his highness of Florence ...
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:
  • Repository:Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Measurements:Length: 86.5 cm, Depth: 14 cm, Length: 46.5 cm body, Width: 21.5 cm upper bout, Width: 19 cm middle bout, Width: 27 cm lower bout