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Guitar by Alexander Voboam, Paris, 1670

NMM 4143.  Guitar by Alexander Voboam, Paris, 1670. Front Bass side Treble side Back

Note:  Click on any image on this page to see an enlargement.

NMM 4143. Guitar by Alexander Voboam (d. ca. 1679), Paris, 1670. Five double courses. Ten gut frets, 2 inlaid wooden frets. Edged with ebony and ivory in a diagonal pattern. Ribs of ebony with ivory stringing. Back of French juniper with four strips of ebony/ivory/ebony stringing. Two ivory buttons on the back and bottom to secure ribbon/strap. Back of neck and pegbox of veneered ebony, with ivory stringing. Ebony "moustache" on both sides of bridge. Spruce belly. Rawlins Fund, 1987.

Maker's Mark on Peghead

Maker's mark on peghead

Front, Back, and Side Views of Body

Front of body Bass side of body Treble side of body Back of body
Bottom of guitar

Front, Sides, and Back of Peghead

Front of peghead Bass side of peghead Treble side of peghead Back of peghead

Ebony pegs with ivory balls and edging reproduced by restorer Daniel Sinier de Ridder, France, 1986.

Front, Back, and Side Views of Neck

FretboardBass side of neck Neck heel Treble side of neck Back of neck

Rose and Bridge


Reproduction three-dimensional, tiered, "wedding cake" rose by Daniel Sinier de Ridder (1986), surrounded by inlaid ebony and ivory mirroring diagonal pattern of edging.

Ebony moustaches on both sides of replaced bridge.




Length: 907 mm
Body length: 454 mm
Upper bout: 208.5 mm
Center bout (waist): 188 mm
Lower bout: 2652 mm
Body depth: 80-90 mm (smaller at top, larger at bottom)
Vibrating string length: 657 mm

Literature:  "A 17th-Century Guitar from Louis XIV's Paris," Shrine to Music Museum Newsletter 15, No. 3 (April 1988), p. 2.

"1987 Acquisitions at USD Music Museum," Newsletter of the American Musical Instrument Society 17, No. 2 (June 1988), p. 2.

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

Florence Gétreau, "Recent Research about the Voboam Family and Their Guitars," Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 31 (2005), pp. 28, 34-39.

Steve Beckermann, Rusty Freeman, Michael Keller, and Michael J. Olsen, Art of the Guitar: A Luthier's Renaissance, Catalog of Exhibition at the Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota, February 26-June 7, 2009 (Fargo: Plains Art Museum, 2009), pp. 6 and 15.

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Most recent update: March 24, 2014

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