Guitar thumbnail 1
Guitar thumbnail 2
+12
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 7, The Sheikha Amna Bint Mohammed Al Thani Gallery

Guitar

1693 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This guitar was made in Hamburg in 1693 by Joachim Tielke (1641-1719), who built a large number of highly prestigious stringed instruments, of which fifteen guitars are known to survive today. The instruments were often elaborately decorated with ivory and tortoiseshell inlay similar to the floral motifs on this example.

From about 1650, the guitar became a highly fashionable instrument throughout Europe, and guitarists like Francesco Corbetta (ca. 1615-1681) and Robert de Visée (ca. 1650-1725) could make a good living at the courts of Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France respectively. These two composed melodious works at a time when much guitar music consisted of strumming sequences of chords, named after letters of the alphabet ( all’alfabeto), as opposed to notes and keys.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Softwood, ivory and turtle shell veneer, mother-of-pearl and ebony, with engraved marquetry, gilt vellum rosette and carved ivory openwork head
Brief Description
Guitar of pine, decorated with marquetry of ivory and tortoishell, with ebony, pewter and mother-of-pearl; rose of vellum. Signed by Joachim Tielke, Hamburg, 1693
Physical Description
'Vaulted back of five broad ribs of engraved marquetry of tortoiseshell, ivory and pewter in floral designs, cupids and classical scenes identified by short inscriptions; also with putti running through foliage in chase scenes. The sides are of marquetry, similarly decorated. The pine belly, with ladder-pattern purfling in ebony, ivory and pewter, is inlaid with floral marquetry in tortoiseshell, ivory and ebony in the star-shaped surround to the rose. The sunk rose is of vellum, of extreme complexity, partly gilded. The bridge is decorated with engraved mother-of-pearl and flanked by floral scrolls in tortoiseshell marquetry applied to the belly.



The neck is decorated on the back with tortoiseshell and ivory marquetry, and the extension of the belly wood is inlaid with leaves in engraved mother-of-pearl. The flush ebony fingerboard is bordered with ivory fillets, and is without frets. The head has openwork of carved ivory in a floral design with putto. There are eleven pegs of carved and turned ivory, for six courses of strings, the first single, the rest double.'



Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-Keyboard Instruments (London, 1978), p. 57.
Dimensions
  • Total length: 102cm
  • Body length: 50cm
  • Maximum width: 30cm
  • Maximum depth: 13cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • IOACHIM TIELKE / in Hamburg, An.1693 (1) Makers's mark 2) Signature; Latin; on label inside the body of the instrument. The label is printed, including the first two numbers of the year, the second two numbers, '93' are handwritten.)
  • C'Est trop tard (Engraved on the upper left bout on the side, closest to the soundboard)
  • L'injustice de Midée (On the left hand hollow between the bouts, on the edge of side closest to the soundboard.)
  • En jovant [jouant] (At the base of the instrument to the left of the strap button.)
  • Secours me nuit (to right of strop button at the base)
  • La Musique d'Orphée Tire tout a soy (Engraved on the edge of the hollow between the upper and lower right bouts.)
  • En riant me tue (Engraved on the edge of the upper rright bout nearest the soundboard.)
Gallery Label
  • Guitar 1693 The back and neck of this guitar are covered with friezes of foliage and flowers. The exotic materials are engraved to create even more realistic forms. Medallions on the sides of the guitar portray musical episodes from classical mythology, their imagery based on engravings. Tielke was a leading instrument maker, whose work was characterised by lavish floral marquetry in ivory and turtle shell. Germany (Hamburg) By Joachim Tielke Softwood body; ivory, turtle shell, mother-ofpearl, ebony, pewter and partly gilded vellum Museum no. 676-1872 (November 2015)
  • GUITAR German By Joachim Tielke (1641-1719), Hamburg, 1693 Printed label Joachim Tielke,in Hamburg, An. 1693, decorated with tortoiseshell, ebony pewter and ivory floral motifs. Vellum rose. The instrument has six courses of strings, the first single and the rest double, five being the normal number. Non-keyboard Catalogue No.: 12/1 The Guitar was used for solos and accompaniment, the former most often written in French Lute entablature and the latter in a Spanish system of chords, denoted by letters in the alphabet (extending beyond G). The strumming technique was known as Rasgueado and the plucking with finger tips punteado. Composers of the Baroque Guitar included Gaspar Sanz, Robert de Visée and Francesco Corbetta. Joachim Tielke settled in Hamburg in 1667, where he made fine instruments, of which fifteen guitars are known to survive. 676-1872(pre September 2000)
Object history
This instrument was bought for £53 from Messrs Goldschmidt of Frankfurt in September, 1872. It was first thought to be French, 17th century. It was "cleaned and repaired in detail in the Conservation Department" in 1963 (cf. Furniture & Woodwork Departmental Catalogues), when the signature and date would have been found. It was subsequently recorded in Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Part II: Non-keyboard instruments (London, H.M.S.O., 1968).
Subjects depicted
Summary
This guitar was made in Hamburg in 1693 by Joachim Tielke (1641-1719), who built a large number of highly prestigious stringed instruments, of which fifteen guitars are known to survive today. The instruments were often elaborately decorated with ivory and tortoiseshell inlay similar to the floral motifs on this example.



From about 1650, the guitar became a highly fashionable instrument throughout Europe, and guitarists like Francesco Corbetta (ca. 1615-1681) and Robert de Visée (ca. 1650-1725) could make a good living at the courts of Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France respectively. These two composed melodious works at a time when much guitar music consisted of strumming sequences of chords, named after letters of the alphabet ( all’alfabeto), as opposed to notes and keys.
Bibliographic References
  • Carl Engel, Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Ancient Musical Instruments, South Kensington Museum (London, 1870), pp.75-76. Carl Engel, editor, Catalogue of the Musical Instruments in the South Kensington Museum (London, 1874), p.252 no. 676. Musikhistorisches Museum von Wilhelm Heyer in Cöln, Katalog von Georg Kinsky, Vol. 2 (Cologne, 1912), p.276, no. 18, cat. no. 676a. Georg Kinsky, Musikgeschichte in Bildern (Leipzig, 1929), p.241. Günther Hellwig, "Joachim Tielke", Galpin Society Journal XVII (1964) p.32. Anthony Baines, European and American Musical Instruments (London, 1966), Frontispiece, illus. 292 and 293. Anthony Baines: Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Part II: Non-keyboard Instruments (H.M.S.O., London, 1968), p.56 no. 12/1, illus. figs. 79 and 79A-J. Günther Hellwig, Joachim Tielke. Ein Hamburger Lauten- und Violenmacher der Barockzeit (Frankfurt/Main, 1980), no. 115, pp. 46, 93-94, 97, 100-106, 109, 116, 296 and 299. Alexander Pilipczuk, "Der Hamburger Instrumentenmacher Jaochim Tielke: Künstlerische-historische Aspekte" Weltkunst 51 (1981), no. 8, p.1136. Peter Thornton, Musical Instruments as works of art (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, second edition, 1982), pp.29-30. Stanley Sadie, editor, The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, 3 vols. (London and New York, 1984), vol. II, p.94. Howard Schott and Anthony Baines, Catalogue of Musical Instruments in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Part II: Non-Keyboard Instruments. New catalogue entries, supplementary notes and bibliography by James Yorke (London, 2002), pp.56-57. Andreas Schlegel, Die Laute in Europa. Geschichte und Geschichten zum Geniessen (Menziken, 2006), pp.74-75. Friedemann and Barbara Hellwig, Joachim Tielke. Kunstvolle Musikinstrumente des Barock (Deutscher Kunstverlag, Berlin and Munich, 2011), pp.169-173.
  • Alexander Pilipczuk: "Joachim Tielke: Instrument-maker and Merchant of Hamburg. Recent Findings about his Education and Professional Life", (trans. Carlos O. Boerner), Galpin Society Journal LXI (April 2008), pp. 129-146.
  • Günther Hellwig:Joachim Tielke Ein Hamburger Lauten- und Violenmacher der Barockzeit., (Frankfurt-am-Main, Verlag Das Musikinstrument, 1980), pp.296-299.
  • Peter Thornton: Musical Instruments as Works of Art. (London, H.M.S.O., 1982), pp. 29-30.
  • Günther Hellwig: 'Joachim Tielke", The Galpin Society Journal, Vol. XVII (February, 1964), pp. 28-38.
  • Carl Engel: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Musical Instruments in the South Kensington Museum, (London, H.M.S.O., 1874), p. 254.
  • Friedemann and Barbara Hellwig, Joachim Tielke: Kunstvolle Musikinstrumente des Barock (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2011), pp.169-173. ISBN 978-3-422-07078-3
  • Elizabeth Miller and Hilary Young, eds., The Arts of Living. Europe 1600-1815. V&A Publishing, 2015. ISBN: 978 1 85177 807 2, illustrated p. 167. The back of the guitar is shown.
Collection
Accession Number
676-1872

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record createdMay 16, 2001
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