The soundboard is made of cypress or slab sawn pine; the pegs are made of boxwood; and the neck, fingerboard, back, and tailpiece are made of ebony. The sound-holes are C-shaped, with little nicks halfway along their length. There is a small, wide, heart-shaped hole on the soundboard 10mm below the bottom of the fingerboard overhang, below which the maker's name is stamped. There is a soundpost (or soundboard support) at the centre of the c-holes, 2 thick and 6 wide. The soundboard has dipped where the bridge sits due to the tension. Around the soundboard is ebony purfling. The back, although carved to simulate 5 ribs, is actually produced from a single piece of ebony, the inside of which forms a smooth curve. The neck and pegbox appear to be part of the same piece of ebony. The pegbox is topped with a male carved head, also made of ebony, with wide-set eyes made of mother of pearl. The fingerboard is hollow underneath, glued on only at the sides, and it appears that the neck is also hollow, probably to reduce weight.
Measurements: Neck length 84 mm; fingerboard length 120.5 mm, width at nut 21.7 mm, at bottom 30.0 mm.
Stamped on the soundboard below heart-shaped hole "DV / MESNIL"; octagonal paper label glued on back with "University of Edinburgh" around the edge and "Reid Bequest / Chair of Music" in the centre.
Decorative features: Each of the ribs at the back has grooves, possibly originally with silver thread; the neck is similarly panelled; human head carved finial.
Specific literature references: Engel 1872, Item 54.
Illustration referenecs: Vol/ 1 p/ 53' Hipkins and Gibb 1888, plate XXXIII.