José Massague (Spanish, Barcelona 1690–1764 Barcelona)
Pine top, figured maple back and sides, rosewood binding, ivory nut, rosewood, mastic, and mother-of-pearl inlaid decoration
Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1990
Not on view
The most distinctive feature of this guitar is the inlaid ‘wave’ on the fingerboard head stock made of rosewood and accented by small pieces of mother-of-pearl. This motif can be found on other instruments by Massague including a bandurria at the Musée de la musique in Paris and another guitar located at the Museu de la música in Barcelona. The instrument has five double-courses of strings, a configuration that was standard throughout Europe in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, though when this instrument was made Spanish builders were beginning to adopt a six double-course design. José Massague was a member of the carpenters guild in Barcelona and in addition to building guitars he built violins.
Marking: (stamped) MASSAGVE/EN BA[R]CELONA on back of tuning head
Written by, Egberto Bermudez, Pepe Rey, Gerardo Arriaga, Cristina Bordas inThe Spanish Guitar: La Guitarra Española. Exhibition catalogue., 1991 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1991, pg. 108-110, cat. 3, ill.
"Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1990-1991." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1991), pg. 53, ill.