Hi I’ve not posted to this forum as I’m too busy reading the postings. It’s excellent and thank you for all the contributions.

I have just come across a guitar that I can find little info on. It’s by someone I think is named Ermelinda Silvestri, a female Italian Luther. I would like to find out about her. There are loads of photos of her guitars, not to be confused with her husbands which look very different.

I also intend to restore. I will remove neck and repair crack introducing braces along the crack. I will also inspect inside and may add some braces. I will then reset the neck.

Question on the patina, leave it or clean it.
The frets look like mandolin fret wire, what fret wire would you suggest.

Not sure how but this guitar is loud, so any suggestions please.

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Looks like it's from around 1930. I know that everyone here will tell you to preserve it as is, but if you want to improve the guitar you could have a look at my site You can do many things to make it a better guitar and still keep the look and feel. Thing is, with real solid old wood glued with hide glue and thin spirit and shellac based lacquer any old "wreck" like this can be transformed to a really, really great sounding guitar! But only if you're willing to sacrifice some of the originality and correct the mistakes made by the original builder.

It's always a trade off between function and preservation. I love to preserve as much as possible and treat the guitar and the original builder with respect (if he/she deserves it), but to me function is the most important part. A good sounding guitar will probably exist longer than the cool wallhanger you get bored with after 5 minutes of playing.

Whatever you do, use hot hide glue for all wood gluing and shellac/spirit based lacquer when doing repairs. Modern glues and lacquer is a kiss of death to old guitars. Never sand away the patina for a new glossy coat of paint, the patina tells the history of the guitar.

Thank you Roger, I think I am on the same page. Never used shellac before but there’s always a first time. I am only interested in how it sounds and plays, so for me that has to be the priority. Will be checking your site.


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