English guitar with keys, English, c.1790


Object name
maker: Anonymous
circa 1790
Object number


English guitar (‘pianoforte guitar’) with six keys operating a hammer action. Six courses, wire-strung; the lowest two single, the upper four double. Simple spoon-shaped outline. Front two-piece of fine to wide, slightly wavy grain. Golden varnish; herringbone edging; wide red and black painted purfling; similar on back and ribs. Back two-piece, of figured maple curved lengthways and slightly transversely. Ribs of fainter curl. Rose of cast metal, slightly domed, with a raised and turned moulded collar of ivory. Neck and tuning-head of maple; hook finial is an extra piece. Convex ebony-veneered fingerboard with twelve brass frets; nut of ivory. Strings tuned by ten watchkey tuners. Key and hammer mechanism is contained in an elliptical box mounted on two legs which are attached to the tail-block by two brass screws. Six plain bone touch-plates on an underlayer of mahogany operate a simple hammer action. Hammers of mahogany; limewood heads, leather-covered.

[View instrument in print catalogue]


Length: 725mm. Width: 300mm.

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