Date: ca. 1710

Geography: Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Spruce, ebony, ivory, mother-of-pearl

Dimensions: 21 1/16 × 5 × 2 11/16 in. (53.5 × 12.8 × 6.9 cm)

Classification: Chordophone-Lute-plucked-fretted

Credit Line: Purchase, Amati Gifts, 2008

Accession Number: 2008.2a, b


This typical Roman mandolin, with six double courses of gut strings, thirteen alternating ribs of ebony and ivory with floral engravings,
and a sickle-shaped peg box, is shown with its carrying box. It is the type of mandolin for which Antonio Vivaldi wrote his numerous mandolin concerti. The double eagle in the rose is most likely refers to the German Tieffenbruckers in Venice and Padua. Magno Tieffenbrucker (1500–1560) used this type of eagle to mark his lutes in Venice, where he owned a house called “L’aquila nera.” Not that the instrument was made by one of the younger Tieffenbruckers; it may well have been built by a maker in the Tieffenbrucker tradition of lute making but who did not live in the places for which the family was known: Venice and Padua.