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Charles van Raalte

Chitarra battente 1

17th Century

This early guitar from 1638 is inscribed on the head 'Matteo Sellas all Corona in Venitia'.  Sellas was an incredibly gifted and important manufacturer of instruments such as this. 

The guitar itself has an arched back with multiple ribs interposed with ivory.  The table is of pine and is inlaid at the base with ebony arabesque and the rose has a wide inlay of ivory and ebony.  The fingerboard and the front of the head are inlaid with six ivory plaques engraved with a stag, a bear, a camel, a fox with a goose, a hare and a hound respectively.  The bridge is a later replacement and the interior of the instrument has been lined in the 19th century with a music manuscript.

Dean Castle
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East Ayrshire Council