27.4.10

dias guitar

Belchior Dias guitar, 1581, at the Royal College of Music collection. The earliest known five-course guitar, believed by some to be a vihuela.
 The ebony neck feels heavy, and the instrument puzzles makers by its unbalanced weight, small size and unparalleled workmanship. The soundboard is not original, having been dated c.1721 by dendrochronological exams. The back is made of kingwood. Proposing a suitable soundboard and strings configuration is a challenge.