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

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I have finally figured out who made this guitar.  My first clue was a Bay State string envelope that was on a thread about Vintage string packages on the Mandolin Cafe Vintage Forum.

Hey George, was going through some of my old guitar pictures and came across these two of an old Bruno I once had. Not the same lyre but similar. Bruno did not make their guitars so no help but I thought it was interesting just the same.

Hi Eric,  Very similar, especially the "Trade Mark" written out below the lyre.  Makes me wonder if my guitar could also be a Bruno, but with a different maker.  I thought Bruno was basically a New York firm, and if so, why would they have been making  a U of M guitar?

The dramatically deep fingernail divots are another characteristic that both guitars have in common.

Great pictures. Many thanks, George

I also noticed that both guitars have arched fret boards, not a typical feature in that era. Bruno used many manufacturers from what I understand, including old man Martin at one time.

I think that I have finally figured out who made this guitar.  The main clue was a Bay State String package that was shown on a "Vintage string packages" thread on the Vintage Forum of Mandolin Cafe.  The Logo on the package was so similar to the Lyre logo on the headstock that I thought there could be a connection.  When I looked up Bay State Guitars, I found The Bay State Registry, and they were extraordinarily helpful in confirming that it was, indeed, made by Bay State.

Eric, perhaps your Bruno was also made by Bay State.

I have lost this reply twice trying to add a picture of the string envelope.  Will try to put it in the next reply.

I will say this, every Bruno I've owned, and that's many, was an extremely well made instrument. Always a quality build. I could see a Bay State tie in for sure.


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