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English guitar

English guitar

  • Place of origin:

    London (Made)

  • Date:

    1759 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dickinson, Edward (Made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Planed and joined sycamore back and sides; planed and joined pine soundboard, purfled (bordered) in ink; ebony and ivory inlaid rose; ebony fingerboard with brass frets; inlaid ebony and ivory finial.

  • Museum number:

    222-1882

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The English guitar was derived from the cittern, a wire-strung instrument, and widely played by fashionable ladies in the British Isles from about 1750 until 1810. It has six courses, four of double and two of single metal strings, tuned in the key of C. This instrument was made by Edward Dickinson (active 1750 - 1790), who made string instruments, including violins, and traded from 'the Harp and Crown' in the Strand, London.

Physical description

"A small-sized instrument of the usual pear-shaped model. One-piece back of sycamore. Belly with inked purfling lines and a rather simple carved rose. The curved ebony fingerboard has twelve brass frets and three capotasto holes. The pegbox is for the normal six courses and has a square finial with a star pattern of ebony, ivory and a dark browb wood." - Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, 1998), p. 49.

Place of Origin

London (Made)

Date

1759 (Made)

Artist/maker

Dickinson, Edward (Made)

Materials and Techniques

Planed and joined sycamore back and sides; planed and joined pine soundboard, purfled (bordered) in ink; ebony and ivory inlaid rose; ebony fingerboard with brass frets; inlaid ebony and ivory finial.

Marks and inscriptions

Edward Dickinson/ Maker/ 1759, with crowned harp.
Printed label

Dimensions

Length: 67 cm Length total, Length: 29 cm Length of body, Length: 40 cm String length, Width: 27 cm, Depth: 6.7 cm

Object history note

This instrument formed part of the collections of Carl Engel (1818-1882) and was purchased by this museum for £1 - 10 - 0 (£1.50p) in 1882.

Descriptive line

English guitar, sycamore back and sides, E.Dickinson, English, 1759.

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. 49.

Materials

Sycamore; Pine; Ebony; Brass; Ivory

Techniques

Planing; Joining; Inlay; Carving

Categories

Musical instruments

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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