Mandora after Niggel
70cm, 6 - 8 courses; based on one of the most elegant mandoras in the most useful size by Sympert Niggel 1754 (Nürnberg No. MIR 895) 9 ribs; the original has 6 courses and is in ebonised figured sycamore with a simple long black neck and a partially open pegbox with a treble rider. A very similar mandora by Niggel but with a crook type pegbox is currently on display in the Stadt Museum in Füssen; This instrument also has an ebonised sycamore back, as does the Weigert in Paris and the Weiss in Halle, suggesting that this may have been a fashion, presumably to imitate more expensive mandoras with real ebony backs such as the large Tecchler mandora, also in Paris. Dieter Kirsch has pointed out that much of the mandora music is associated with monastic institutions, which makes me suspect this fashion for black may be related to their monastic usage.
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