Five-course Guitar by Joachim Tielke/ Visiting The Smithsonian

Blogs or Posts, History

There is a room for musical instruments in the American History Museum at the Smithsonian and we made sure to visit it last week while in the area.

The museum’s music collection contains more than 5,000 instruments of American and European heritage.   We found several on display including this Five-course Guitar by Joachim Tielke.

Tielke was one of the most outstanding guitar makers of all Europe in the 17th and early 18th centuries.  His guitars were decorated with rich materials such as ivory, tortoise shell, ebony, gold and silver, mother-of-pearl and jaracanda wood.

He created floral decorations surrounding mythological scenes.  His work represented the height of German craftsmanship and was comparable to works done by the masters of the Italian Renaissance.

 Five-course Guitar by Joachim Tielke.

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