Theorbo Guitar

Description (Brief)
This guitar was made by Laurent in Paris, France around 1790-1800. It is a twelve course (4x2, 3x1?, 5x1) theorbo guitar with a pine top and maple back and sides. This guitar bears the printed label: “AU CISTERE ALLEMAND [/] LAURENT, [/] Maitre & Marchand Luthier, [/] Passage du Saumon, Quartier Monmartre [/]et Montorgueil.” The provenance and date of this guitar are subject to study.
Currently not on view
Object Name
English guitar
english guitar
Date made
overall: 44 1/4 in x 12 in x 4 1/2 in; 112.395 cm x 30.48 cm x 11.43 cm
place made
France: Île-de-France, Paris
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Music & Musical Instruments
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

4/19/2015 12:41:02 PM
With these pictures I can't tell much, but the peg head looks like a six course guitar, 5 doubles and a single (probably the treble, historically) plus three harp strings on the second peg box. The nut looks like it had 4 double courses, which makes the extra pegs a mystery from here. It would be helpful if you had pictures of the bridge, which seems to be missing. It appears to be a loose bridge held on with string tension. Overall, a quite interesting instrument..
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