Gregori Ferdinand Wenger, Augsburg
Maple, spruce, ebony; L. 30 1/3 in. (77.1 cm)
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.3140)
The mandora is a type of lute that developed in the eighteenth century in Germany, possibly as a simplified, more accessible version of the very complex lutes of the Baroque era. The body of the mandora is smaller and has fewer courses (usually six or seven); this example features six courses, five of them double and one single course. The body alternates ribs of figured maple and bird's eye maple, producing a very subtle yet elegant effect. Ink letters found on the back of the neck correspond with letters of the lute tablature. The unusual bridge is not original.