Agostino Rosa

Agostino Rosa mandolin from 1769


Sublime and very rare 18th century mandolin made in Naples by Agostino Rosa during the year 1769.

It is around 1750 that we date the appearance of the Neapolitan mandolin, following the so-called baroque mandolin.

It is also said that it was the Vinaccia workshops which gave birth to the Neapolitan mandolin in those years, thanks to Gennaro (I) and Antonio (I) Vinaccia.

And in the wake of this new dynamic of the Neapolitan mandolin, many luthiers, with more or less large productions, followed and also developed their models.

This is the case of Agostino Rosa, a luthier who is more confidential than some but nevertheless very qualitative and innovative.

Beyond its magnificent head and its engraved bone plated fingerboard, this mandolin has a relatively modern feature for its time: a flat ribbed base.

Unlike certain luthiers of this period such as Vinaccia, Fabricatore or Filano, Agostino Rosa decided not to build its back in hollow maple or yew ribs, but in flat walnut ribs.

Thus, the bottom being thinner, the latter could resonate even more and therefore influence the sound of the instrument.

This reflection may be driven by the beginning of the use of metal ropes in the 1760s, recommended in the method of Giovanni Fouchetti at that time.

Thus, between innovation and worked aesthetics, we only know a few examples of Agostino Rosa mandolins.

A copy by this luthier is presented in the collections of the Sforza Museum in Milan, dated 1787 and acquired 210 years later in 1997.


So, here is an admirable historical mandolin for sale.

Technical characteristics :

  • Table: Fir
  • Base: Walnut 21 ribs
  • Neck: Rosewood and bone veneer
  • Key: Bone
  • Width at nut: 30.5 mm
  • Radius: Flat
  • Frets: 13 frets
  • Scale: 320 mm
  • Profile: Neapolitan
  • Pickguard: Mahogany
  • Country of manufacture: Italy
  • Year: 1769
  • Finish: Natural
  • Decorations: Numerous decorations of engraved bone plaques / Mother-of-pearl inlays / Bone fillets
  • Details: Traces of normal restoration given its age / Delivered in a case

Like all of our instruments, this mandolin is fully restored and completely playable.

It also has pleasant playing comfort.

Here is an authentic, remarkable piece of the history of the mandolin, in superb condition which will delight musicians and collectors alike.

A certificate of authenticity issued by an expert is supplied with the mandolin.

Recently seen