Guitar. 000 Guitar.

Instrument

Guitar

Instrument Family

Strings

Date Made

Circa 1650

Description

Technical description: Soundboard of spruce, of two pieces joined in the centre, both with close grain, though not necessarily bookmatched. The present bridge is of two sections, a lower layer which has the length of an original bridge, aligning with the mustachios at either end, but is wider and only 2.5mm high, and another bridge glued to the top, through which the strings pass. This upper bridge is of stained maple topped with a thin (c1mm) piece of ebony surrounded by bands of ivory. The mustachios either side of the bridge are of ebony with ivory raised sections. Below the bridge is an inlaid design of ivory, black mastic and mother-of-pearl, consisting of a vase with flowers. Surrounding the rosehole (83mm diameter) is a geometric design, consisting of an inner ring of black mastic with inlaid mother-of-pearl diamonds, surrounded by thin bands of ivory/mastic/ivory on either side, and then a six-petalled flower of ebony with inlaid ivory, edged by the mastic with inlaid diamond design. The soundboard is edged with ivory, with the black mastic and inlaid mother-of-pearl diamond design inside. An inlaid vase and flower design is on the soundboard neck extension and onto the top of the soundboard, echoing the design below the bridge. The back and sides are of alternate strips of ebony and ivory with thin alternate lines in between the wider strips. The sides consist of five wide strips, and the back of 16 strips at the widest point. At the bottom of the guitar is a thin band (8mm wide) of black mastic with inlaid mother-of-pearl diamonds. The band is edged with ivory. There is an ivory end button. The back and sides have been veneered onto a core of fine-grained spruce. The neck and heel join with a sharp edge. The sides of the head are edged with alternate strips of ebony and ivory, nine strips in total. The neck has been truncated in length, now 222mm long, 55mm wide at the body join and 50mm wide at the nut. There are 10 ebony tuning pegs. 000 Technical description: The present neck length is 223. There are 6 soundbars on the back of the guitar, set at an angle to the length, possibly not original. The soundboard has three soundbars, one just above the soundhole, another just below, and the third placed mid-way between the lower soundbar and the bridge. The soundhole diameter is 83; the bottom is 257mm from the bottom of the guitar. The soundboard wood protrudes 48mm up the neck. The nut is unoriginal, the peghead and pegs are original. Repair History: The instrument has been converted to six single strings from the original five courses. The neck was originally c305mm long, and the string length c655mm. The top plaque has been reduced by 20mm in length due to the shortening of the neck, and there was probably also a fourth plaque which is now totally missing. The rosehole probably originally containing a decorative rose design. The bridge is a replacement. The ebony tuning pegs are not original. 000 Repair History: The instrument was originally a 5-course guitar, converted at the end of the eighteenth or start of the nineteenth century to 6-string. The neck was shortened as part of this process, the original string length being c685.

Notes

d.p.martin, 27.10.93, 2003.

Measurements

847.

Provenance

Acquired with mandolin (3374) by the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art in 1869; according to Hipkins and Gibb (1888), formerly belonged to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe of Hoddam, Dumfriesshire.; Lent by the National Museums of Scotland, 1869.9.34.

Collection

MIMEd

Accession Number

3384