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  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1755-1760 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hintz, Federick (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sycamore, ebony and ivory, with stamped copper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The English guitar was in vogue from about 1750 until 1790. It was particularly popular among fashionable ladies who often preferred the version, like this one, that was fitted with piano-keys so as to preserve their nails from wire strings. Examples like this one were also tuned with a watch-key, most often in C major. The modern Portuguese guitar is descended from this type of instrument. This English guitar was made by Friederich Hintz (d. 1772), a German immigrant cabinetmaker, who specialised in making metal-inlaid furniture as well as musical instruments.

Physical description

Guitar; sycamore back, pine belly, pointed shoulders, rose of stamped copper gilt with a musical instrument & diaper pattern in centre. Ebony fingerboard with fifteen brass frets, square finial on neck with chequerboard pattern in ebony & ivory, detachable mechanism on body for striking strings with felted hammers, box with Royal Arms of England.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1755-1760 (made)


Hintz, Federick (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Sycamore, ebony and ivory, with stamped copper

Marks and inscriptions

stamped on back

stamped on brass screw-tuning


'PR' crowned
stamped on the wood of the head

'SMITHS PATENT BOX' over Royal Arms of England and the word 'LONDON'
printed on the lower part of the body


Length: 69 cm total, Length: 34 cm belly, Width: 31.5 cm, Depth: 7.5 cm

Descriptive line

Guitar; by Frederick Hintz; London, Britain; 1755-60.

Subjects depicted

Coats of arms


Images Online; Musical Instruments


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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