A recent exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum, entitled Guitar Heroes, displayed some of the most gorgeously hand-crafted and covetable axes on Earth. Every instrument featured was astonishingly detailed, displaying the most intrcate craftsmanship imagainable. These were tools invented for playing symphonies of love . . . music made of magic. Also, looking at these images marked the very first time I've ever even considered hanging guitars on my wall, Hard Rock Cafe Style.
Above: Baroque guitar by Matteo Sellas (c.1630–50), crafted of spruce, bone, parchment, snakewood, and ivory, with a sound hole filled with parchment rosettes. Below: Stunning silhouette-laden guitar (c.1800) featuring image of Neapolitan composer Giovanni Paisiello, whose operatic works were a fave of 19th-century guitarists. It is made of spruce, ebony, ivory, and tortoiseshell.
Above, L: Neck detail of a Neapolitan mandolin by Antonio Vinaccia (Italian, c.1781) made of spruce with ivory inlay, with a soundboard of tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl, and gold alloy. Above, R: Guitar by Giacomo Ertel (c.late 17th century), comprised of spruce, ebony, fruitwood, bone, ivory, and mother-of-pearl inlay. Below: Neck detail of a Viola d'amore (c.18th century), created by Johannes Florenus Guidantus, and carved of spruce, maple and ebony. It was an instrument favored by both Bach and Vivaldi, and these particular violas feature carved figural heads, usually with either a blindfold or shut eyes, in reference to the adage “love is blind.”