Art/ Collection/ Art Object


William Esperance Boucher, Jr. (Hanover, Germany 1822–1899 Baltimore, Maryland)
ca. 1845
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Hardwood, calfskin, brass, iron
L. 34 1/2 × W. 11 × D. 3 1/4 in. (87.6 × 27.9 × 8.3 × 87.6 cm)
Head Diameter: 11 in. (27.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Peter Szego, 2013
Accession Number:
Not on view
William Esperance Boucher, Jr. (1822–1899), Baltimore, Maryland,
ca. 1845
The 1840s was a pivotal decade in American music. Even as C. F. Martin was introducing innovations that were changing the guitar, the banjo was becoming an immensely popular instrument. William Boucher is credited with being one of the first professional makers and may have introduced metal tuning brackets to tighten the head. Though unrelated, this instrument has a scroll style headstock that is reminiscent of those found on Viennese guitars.
Gift of Peter Szego, 2013 (2013.639)
Marking: Stamped faintly at the neck's lower end: “Baltimore / W. Boucher, Jr.”
Peter Szego
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, p. 21, 128, ill.

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