I bought this guitar about 15 years ago at an estate sale.  It has a small paper label in the sound hole that says "University of Michigan."  It has the same thing stamped into the wood at the back of the peghead.  The front of the peghead has a stamped logo that looks like a lyre with the words "Trade Mark," but the rest of the logo is indistinct.  The tuners have ivoroid buttons, but with the shank that goes all the way through with a small washer and riveted.  Looks about 1890 or 1900 to me.  Sides and back are Brazilian, but it was not a high end guitar. 

Has anyone else seen one of these, or know who made it?

Thanks, George

Views: 1024


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

One more picture.
Looks like a Lyon and Healy to me.

I 2nd the LyonHealy...


Howard and Tim,

Thanks for the input.  Can I ask why you think Lyon & Healey?  Is it the partial logo, the architecture, the proximity to Ann Arbor, or?

Does anyone have a better logo that they could post? 

The only L & H instrument I have is a uke, and the logo, stamped under the sound hole, does not have a lyre.


Lyon & Healy was also a harp maker and although I don't have the full skinny for you I have seen that lyre/harp logo associated w/ the name.You can probably do more digging and decide.I have a turn of the century L/H Bjo and found the info online,just can't remember where.Maybe a Chicago link.........
also reminds me of Bruno,Stahl,Larson,Ditson.....I'm empty now

Thanks again Tim,

I've spent a fair amount of time checking Lyon & Healey, and Lyre logos on the internet, but haven't found anything to match yet.


I am still trying to identify this guitar.  Using very high magnification, the banner between the two arms of the lyre seems to read:  A. X. X O. C 2

The Xs are unknown letters and the 2 at the end is incomplete, but it looks most like a 2.  Has me stumped.

I am including a hopefully better picture of the front of the peghead.

The top is bound with rosewood, which seems strange to me since the sides are rosewood.  The back is not bound.  The purfling is a black paste which has been pressed into the rosette and purfling channels

Thanks, George


I think it's safe to say it was probably made by either Lyon and Healy, or by one of the uncountable number of shops and distributors that produced guitars exactly like that which are virtually indistinguishable from one another. ;)

Really, parlors like that were made everywhere, sometimes marked with maker marks, sometimes distributor marks (which could come from any number of different makers at different times), or no distinguishable mark at all. Lyres were a common theme in logos, but I don't immediately recognize that one as associated with one particular maker. The logo could have nothing to do with any maker to begin with, but rather be a stamp for whatever store or catalog or distributor contracted a line of instruments. 

Hopefully someone may recognize the lyre logo as associated with some maker or distributor, but I wouldn't loose sleep over it if it ends up categorized as yet another ambiguously built turn of the century parlor guitar. Often times the bracing, purfling, center strip, tuner slots, etc, can be the most reliable indicators if you have references to compare them to. 

As to the UofM association, I'm guessing it was property of the UofM School of Music at some point long ago. I doubt it was one of the innumerable instruments pilfered from their Stearns Collection, as although their instruments were horribly neglected I can't imagine any being defaced with a University logo.  I could run it by a client who is a professor at the music school and former docent of the Stearns Collection next time I see him, but I doubt he would be able to tell anything more definitive about it. Likely just something that belonged to their school of music long ago. 

My gut feeling as to where it's from though, Lyon and Healy. Could be from any number of other sources, but that's my gut feeling. 

David,  Thanks for all the info.  I keep thinking that someone has to have seen one of these before.  The "University of Michigan" logo on the back of the peghead was stamped there.  The fact that they went to the trouble to make a stamp suggests that there should be more of these guitars around.  The unusual script-like lettering with the almost heart shaped "M" makes me think that it wasn't as likely to have been made under the "official" auspices of the U of M.

I have access to two Washburn/Lyon &Healey guitars.  They both have square peghead slots, but they are both higher end instruments.  One of them has a serial number stamped in the end of the peghead (like the U of M guitar,) but the other doesn't.  

Again, thanks, George

"A x x O.C2"... I wonder if it could have been "ANNO 02".

Have you tried putting a piece of paper over the lyre and then rubbing over it with the tip of a pencil (holding that pencil almost horizontaly)? It's an old trick and it usualy works as long as there "image" isn't flat.

Best of luck!


Hi Bart,  I tried getting a rubbing from the logo, but no luck.

Thanks, George


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service