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One of my customers came to the shop yesterday with this guitar. He bought it for a song at a flea market not long ago. He asked me how old it could be, and where it was made. I had to admit that I haven't a clue, could anybody here more knowledgeable than me tell me anything about it?

It has a lovely body, made like a mini cello, and a nice hand made scarf joint on the headstock. The number stamped into the top at the tail end made me think it could be German, although from the style it looks more Italian. Anybody?

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From the looks of the tuners I'd say late 1800's. Have you got a side view? Is that European Maple? Looks like it could be. Love the rosette work. What a find.
Germany has my vote because it looks to have maple back and sides along with a spruce top and because of the shape of the body it could be something that Haufner made??  just my thoughts.. 

Grahame, tell your customer the truth. Its pure AWSOME!! Thats all anyone needs to know.

 

It IS awesome... Oh my. Maybe one of our European members will chime in. Were you able to scope out  the bracing under the top? Fan bracing is what I am thinking...

Someone PLEASE reproduce that rosette work on a modern instrument.  Or better yet; repro the whole thing.

Is it comfortable to play or do the decorative "points" dig into you?

What a beautiful design & GREAT pictures.

The VERY best of luck with this Grahame (-:

 

reminds me of Puerto Rico............

Tim,

Agreed, it does sorta look like a cuatro.  Don't some tres have that look too?  Down by the end button there appears to be writing, couldn't get a good look, like OM no... what does that say?

Doug

doug I wasn't thinking specifically cuatro but guitar...in a Puerto Rican style however that bridge changed my mind tho it could have Spanish influence. jus' guessing anyway...

more pics and a few dimensions? bridge does have that French/Italian l00k! lower bout? scale length, depth? I like it

also appears to have had bridge repl. .Did it used to have a tailpiece?Or classical style bridge?

Paul  V Quote:  "Is it comfortable to play or do the decorative "points" dig into you?" Have a look at the 35' ramp at the end of that fretboard! Looks like it was meant to slice off fingers that got too close!

That reminds me of a Hofner 6-string lute guitar that I worked on.

The bridge , rosette and general quirkiness are similar but this thing had a rosette that completely filled the sound hole.

Very pretty...  until top or bridge repair were needed, and it needed it all.

I was surprised to learn that Hofner made them at least into the late '60s, as at first glance I thought it was much older.  It was clearly marked with their logo on the top in about the same area as the serial # on your specimen.

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