The forerunner of the guitar was something called the cittern which was an instrument used in the 18th century in Europe. Here it is….
You will notice the hollow body, and the fretboard, and possibility of having six strings. Though this instrument and its successors were around during the rise of the classical symphony era, it never became an orchestra instrument before it found a place in jazz orchestras in the 20th century. In size it was more like a mandolin. One of the interesting things that happened is that the guitar became a popular instrument for those who had leisure time, including in the 19th century, many well to do women as the following portraits attest. Having a cultured, or at least musical wife or daughter became a thing for the more well to do families.