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Guitar (chitarra battente)

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Arched back comprised of thirteen ribs of bloodwood, each separated by strip of diamond-shaped pieces of pearl set in black mastic. Sides comprised of five ribs, decorated similarly to back. Two-piece belly of fine-grain spruce, bound with ivory and edged with pieces of pearl similar to back;...

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Inlaid near lower end of belly: IACOBVS MOSCA CAVELLI FECIT; inlaid near upper end of belly: APOC 14 / SICVT CI / THAROEDORVM / CITHARIVM IN CIT / ARISSVIS; handwritten label inside: In Honorem Conceptionis / Be Marie Virginis Corda / Leni pulsate Jacobus Mosca / Cavelli fecit Pisauri fecit / Perusia 1725


After 1725, probably owned by a member of the Chigi or Pamphilj families, Rome, based on the heraldic devices on the headstock. Before 1864, Baron Salomon de Rothschild (1835-1864), Paris, France. December 14, 2001, sold by Daguerre Auction House, Paris, France, to Alain Moatti, Paris, France; 2003, sold by Moatti to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 26, 2003)

Credit Line

Frank B. Bemis Fund and funds donated by William and Deborah Elfers, an anonymous donor, Weston Associates, Leo and Gabriella Beranek, Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser, Richard S. Milstein, Esq., Mrs. Robert B. Newman, and Marlowe and Elise Sigal


Object Place

Perugia, Italy


Length 93 cm, width 24.9 cm, depth 14.5 cm (Length 36 5/8 in., width 9 13/16 in., depth 5 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Bloodwood, spruce, walnut, ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, brass, mastic


Musical Instruments


Musical instruments, Chordophones