Five-course baroque guitar by Matteo Sellas, Venice, second quarter of the 17th century, the back of numerous fluted ebony ribs intersected by bone stringing, the ribs with a central band of similar construction flanked by plain ebony bands, the table with pierced parchment architectural rose encircled bone inlay with intersecting loops of ebony and bone with a running dart motif in bone, further inlaid below the bridge and at the base of the fingerboard with bone hearts of various sizes connected by ebony and bone stringing, the tie bridge with scrolling moustaches, the back of the neck and the central section of the head with a fine ebony and ivory chequerboard overlay, the fingerboard with panels of mother of pearl with ten later brass frets, the shaped head with ivory pegs, length of body 18 7/8″, 48cm, string length 27″, 68.5cm

Condition: Basically extremely good for its age.  There are signs of repaired cracks in the ebony bands of the ribs.  There are repaired cracks in the table, two of which (above the rose) have fillets in them.  It is possible that the neck length may have been slightly shortened as the last mother of pearl panel has no upper ebony border before the nut.  The pegs may possibly be original, at least appear old and are certainly a matched set.  The instrument was believed to have once borne a Sellas label, but no such label can currently be found in the visible part of the interior

Estimate £10000 – 15000

Sold for £48000