Maker: Pierre-René Lacôte (French, Paris 1785–1855 Paris)

Date: ca. 1835

Geography: Paris, France

Culture: French

Medium: Spruce, rosewood, ebony

Dimensions: Height: 36 5/8 in. (93 cm)

Classification: Chordophone-Lute-plucked-fretted

Credit Line: Purchase, Clara Mertens Bequest, in memory of André Mertens, 1992

Accession Number: 1992.1.1


Rene Lacôte was the most well-known maker of the guitar in France during the early nineteenth century. His guitars were endorsed by several famous performers including Fernando Sor, Ferdinando Carulli, Zani de Ferranti, and others. This guitar has a spruce top with black-and-white striped edging and soundhole ring. The two-piece back and ribs are made of rosewood. A six-single course guitar with ebony fingerboard and 17 T-frets. The mechanism for the tuners are housed within the headstock, a design by Lacôte that is quite elegant. The guitar bears a label with the signature of Fernando Sor. Several surviving instruments by Lacôte are similarly signed, suggesting that this was an endorsement from the famous player. The guitar was once owned and used by twentieth-century guitarist Julian Bream.