Antonius Vinaccia Italian (Naples)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 681

This extraordinary Neapolitan mandolin is one of the most decorative examples that exists. The bowlback is formed of twenty-three narrow molded strips of tortoiseshell with ivory spacers. The soundboard is lavishly decorated with inlaid mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell. The round soundhole is surrounded by a broad band of tortoiseshell and pearl inlay. The fingerboard has thirteen gilt frets and inlaid mother-of-pearl blocks. The peghead is scalloped shaped and covered with tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl with eight fiddle-style pegs inserted from behind. The mandolin has the stylistic features associated with the Neapolitan school including a slight bend in the soundboard at the bridge and eight strings in four double-courses tuned to the same pitches as a violin: E, A, D, G.

Mandolin, Antonius Vinaccia (Italian, Naples active 1754–1781 Naples), Spruce, tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, gold alloy, ivory, various other materials, Italian

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