Maker: Gregori Ferdinand Wenger

Date: 1726

Geography: Augsburg, Germany

Culture: German

Medium: Maple, spruce, ebony

Dimensions: L. to nut 77.1cm (30.35 in.); String L.: Minimum 67.5 cm (26.58 in.); L. of top 48.5 cm. (19.09 in.)

Classification: Chordophone-Lute-plucked-fretted

Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

Accession Number: 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.