National Music Museum Logo   National Music Museum  
Home  Collections
Virtual Tour
Calendar Gift Shop FAQ Site Index Maker Index


Images from The Rawlins Gallery

Guitar by Domenico Sellas, Venice, ca. 1670

NMM 3346.  Guitar by Domenico Sellas, Venice, ca. 1670 Bass side of guitar Treble side of guitar Back of guitar Back of peghead Back of neck Neck heel Back Lower end

Note: Click on any major structural area of the instrument to see a close-up of that area.

NMM 3346. Guitar by Domenico Sellas, Venice, ca. 1670. Five double courses. Original spruce belly with inlaid mother-of-pearl, ivory, and ebony. Fingerboard inlaid with incised, mother-of-pearl plaques. Back and sides of snakewood with ivory stringing. Ebony back of neck and peghead heavily inlaid with ivory figures and foliage. Overall length: 84.27 cm. Arne B. and Jeanne F. Larson Endowment Fund, 1984.


Guitar's rose

Note: Click on image above to see a larger image of the rose.

Soundhole surrounded by ring of overlapping semi-circles of inlaid mother-of-pearl outlined in ebony, ivory, and black mastic. Stained-wood rosette a replacement based upon style of the period.

Views of the Peghead

Front of peghead Back of peghead

Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the peghead.

Ebony pegs reconstructed in style of period.

Details of Incised Plaques on Peghead

Maker's name Flowers Crown

Note: Click on images above to see larger images of the plaques

Domenico Sellas, son of the instrument maker Matteo Sellas (b. Füssen, ca. 1574-1586), was born in Venice about 1632. The date inscribed on the peghead, therefore, is spurious. Current scholarship indicates that the instrument was probably made about 1670. The crown ("Alla Corona") inscribed on the peghead was the shop sign used by these two Venetian luthiers.


"Rare, Beautiful Guitar Evokes the Splendor That Was 17th-Century Venice," Shrine to Music Museum, Inc., Newsletter 12, No. 1 (October 1984), p. 3.

André P. Larson, "Early Italian Plucked Stringed Instruments at the Shrine to Music Museum," Lute Society of America Newsletter 20, No. 1 (February 1985), p. 9.

Margaret Downie Banks, "The Witten-Rawlins Collection and Other Early Italian Stringed Instruments at The Shrine to Music Museum," Journal of the Violin Society of America 8, No. 3 (1987), pp. 23, 25, 26.

André P. Larson, The National Music Museum: A Pictorial Souvenir (Vermillion: National Music Museum, 1988), p. 51 and inside cover.

Joseph R. Johnson, "The Witten-Rawlins Collection of North Italian String Instruments," American Lutherie 15 (1988), reprinted in The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Vol. 2 (1988-1990), edited by Tim Olsen (Tacoma, Washington: Guild of American Luthiers, 2000-2004), pp. 100-102.

  Click arrow to continue Rawlins Gallery Tour

Go to Rawlins Gallery Tour Index

Go to Virtual Gallery Tour Index

Go to Checklist of Plucked Stringed Instruments Made Before 1800

Go to Checklist of 16th- and 17th-Century Instruments

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD   57069

©National Music Museum, 2008-2014
Most recent update:   March 24, 2014

The University of South Dakota
Return to Top of Page

Front of peghead Upper end of body, front Front of neck Rose Front of body Treble side of neck Treble side of body Lower end Bass side of guitar Neck heel Bass side of body Lower end