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English guitar

English guitar

  • Place of origin:

    Dublin (Made)

  • Date:

    1765 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gibson, William (Made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    planed and joined pine soundboard; planed and joined sycamore back and sides; planed ivory fingerboard with brass frets; carved and planed ebony capotasto

  • Credit Line:

    Given to the Museum by Miss N. Drummond.

  • Museum number:

    W.7-1919

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

William Gibson worked in Dublin and was active from about 1760 until 1790. Like his fellow Dubliner, Thomas Perry (1744-1817), he used ivory fingerboards and metal ring-shaped tuning pegs. The English guitar was wire-strung, tuned in the key of C major and enjoyed a vogue amongst fashionable ladies in the British Isles from about 1750 until 1810.

Physical description

"A large-sized instrument with pointed shoulders. Back of two pieces of sycamore. Belly of pine, the rose missing. The neck is slightly hollowed on the bass side and carries a nearly flat ivory fingerboard with shaped end, fourteen full frets of brass and two short frets, and five capotasto holes. An ebony capotasto is attached by a brass bolt. The head has an original enclosed worm-gear machine tuning, with brass ring-shaped fingerpieces. The square finial is faced with tortoiseshell in which is set a small silver shield with the initials J.G.D.." Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, 1998), p. 50.

Place of Origin

Dublin (Made)

Date

1765 (Made)

Artist/maker

Gibson, William (Made)

Materials and Techniques

planed and joined pine soundboard; planed and joined sycamore back and sides; planed ivory fingerboard with brass frets; carved and planed ebony capotasto

Marks and inscriptions

W.Gibson, 1765
Written on the back of the instrument.

J.G.D.
Engraved on a small silver shield set in the tortoiseshell finial above the tuning pegs.

Dimensions

Length: 90 cm length total, Length: 40.5 cm length of body, Length: 53 cm string length, Width: 35.6 cm, Depth: 7.2 cm

Object history note

This instrument was given to the Museum by Miss N.Drummond in 1919.

Descriptive line

English guitar, sycamore body and ivory fingerboard, W.Gibson, Dublin, Irish, 1765.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments. (London, 1998), p. 50.

Materials

Ivory; Brass; Ebony; Pine; Sycamore

Techniques

Planing; Joining

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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