Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

In 1978 I purchased an eight-course Student Lute from Spanish Guitar Centre in Bristol, UK, for £230 excl. VAT and shipping costs to Norway. The luthier's name is Alan Clark. The bowl is based on a lute by Hans Frei, and has nine ribs of cherry. Pegs and fingerboard are rosewood. The soundboard is spruce with a simple rose design. Stirng length 60 cm. Considering this is a student lute it has a very nice sound. On the website "History of plucked instruments" Alan Clark is represented with a renaissance lute that looks like mine. But I have been unable to find any information of this fine luthier, so if anyone on this forum knows someting about him I would be glad. In addition: anyone who knows what price I could charge in case of selling it?


Best wishes


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Hello Harry. I saw your request by chance, so I have just joined the forum to reply to you.

I made your lute.  It seems a long time ago now!  I began making lutes around 1970.  I was teaching art at the time, but eventually had so many orders for lutes that I went into full-time making.  In all I made about a hundred lutes and about fifty other instruments, mostly reconstructions of Renaissance and Baroque plucked string instruments, including vihuelas and guitars.   Around 1985 I was ready for a change, so moved on to do other things.

Painting has been my main interest since then, though I still love working with wood, and amuse myself in my retirement by making yew longbows (with some of the yew that was left -over from making lutes) and large format wooden view cameras that I use to photograph the North York Moors.

Thanks for your kind comments about my lute.


Alan Clark


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