Maker: Attributed to Giacomo (Jacob) Ertel (German, ca. 1646–1711 Rome)

Date: late 17th century

Geography: Rome, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Spruce, ebony, fruitwood, bone, ivory, mother-of-pearl, parchment

Dimensions: Height: 35 11/16 in. (90.7 cm)
Width (at greatest point): 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Depth (rib height at bottom): 3 11/16 in. (9.4 cm)

Classification: Chordophone-Lute-plucked-fretted

Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund, Mrs. Peter Nicholas, University of Chicago Club of New York, Mrs. Henry J. Heinz II and Lowell S. Smith and Sally Sanford Gifts, The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, by exchange, and funds from various donors, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.225


Checkerboard patterns of bone, ebony, and fruitwood decorate the back, sides, and neck of Ertel's guitar. The peghead, fingerboard, and top have inlaid ornaments of mother-of-pearl. The modern rosette of wood and parchment is a replacement. Formerly converted to six single strings, this instrument was later restored to its five-course configuration. A similar signed instrument is in the Innsbruck Landesmuseum.