Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

I started learning to play guitar 2 years ago at the age of 54! This lead to a general interest in vintage guitars and I now have twelve 1930s upwards mainly Spanish guitars. I came across this guitar at an auction, fell in love with it and bought it knowing nothing about it. I wondered if anyone may be able to help identify my new purchase. The lower bout has had an attempted repair. It has ladder bracing. The fretboard is scalloped. I hope the photos are clear enough. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking.

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Hello Patricia,

Interesting! The soundhole decoration looks Austrian to me. The scalloped fretboard too, maybe. I suppose there is no label or stamp anywhere on or in the guitar? Some more things to look for: what is the material of the frets? What is the scale / string lenght? Is the back flat or vaulted?

Thanks for looking at the guitar Jelma. Some more clues for you. Upper bout 230mm, Lower bout 290mm. Scale length is 610mm. The headstock has a joint to the neck. Back is flat with a slight bulge in the middle, probably age related. Unfortunately there are no labels or stamps anywhere. There is a distinct circle mark in the wood by the soundhole where there may have been a decal. The frets are steel, a lot missing at the bottom and very low or worn, don't know how they would have been originally. I have attached some more photos which may help. Thank you again.

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Hi Patricia,

Thanks for the additional images. I have no way to identify this guitar. It reminds me of one of mine (I will add a few photos) but that one is not labelled either :-) So I would recommend to just keep looking at as many historic guitars as possible, to get an idea of what it probably is.

What are your plans with the instrument? Are you thinking of having it restored/repaired to make it playable?

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Thanks Jelma. I was thinking of having the repairs done to make it playable i.e frets, tuning pegs and strings. I know the current repair of the lower bout will alter the sound but I am worried about what damage it may be concealing!! I will continue to look at as many historic guitars as possible and let you know if I find anything. Thank you for your help once again.

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