Is a medieval instrument of the lute family with a floating bridge-tailpiece combination unit. The "bowel" back of it would have been made either carved from a solid piece or staves. The mandora that I guilt (pictured here) has aback made of alternating staves of maple and pearweed, with a European spruce top.
The rea lute is another example of an instrument displaying principles of very "rational evolution." The soundboard bracing although puzzling to a guitar maker at first, is ingeniously effective and efficient. It shows, that the old makers had a great intuitive understanding of acoustics. I prefer making renaissance lutes with a staves neck (instead of overlaid with ebony which seems to the a feature of later times when renaissance instruments were reworked into baroque lutes). I enjoy decorating the fingerboard with a vine of my own design which still pleases the eye.
This instrument is the Spanish counterpart to the renaissance lute. In a certain sense it is the rightful predecessor to the modern guitar (more than the renaissance or baroque guitar). There is only one surviving vihuela which is a large instrument and not at all typical of the vihuela. For this reason I'm not yet convinced that a viheula would not have had a thin top with more braces than a guitar (similar to a lute), since the Spaniards wanted to play the equivalent (academic art) music of the lute, but rejected the lute for its shape, which they associated with the Moorish conquest of Spain.
Guitar (Renaissance, Baroque)
My biggest influence at least on the baroque guitar has been the work of the Voboam family. The vaulted back is a feature that definitely imparts a nice, warm quality to the tone as well as resonance and volume.