Early Guitars and Vihuela

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I've had this guitar for a while, it was described as a parlour guitar and intended as a 'wall-hanger'.  A little work has got it playing again and it sounds great!

I'd be really grateful if anyone is able to give me an idea of when/where it was made.

It has a spruce top and maple back and sides.  It is ladder braced and has a type of joint to the peghead that I haven't seen before.  The scale length is 625mm.

;Neck joint

There is no indication of the maker - I've had a look inside with a mirror but there are no marks.  The frets are brass with no 'tang'.

Strap button.


I'm currently using a set of medium classical strings, but I intend to try a Nylgut set (I've used them on vintage banjos and ukuleles).



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German, mid 19th century. It is possible that the head has been repaired, but a larger photo covering more of the head and neck join is needed.

Thanks James that's interesting.  The whole instrument has had a pretty hard life, it looks like the bridge has come off at some point and I think that there we're fret board markers that have been removed.  I've attached a couple more picture that may shed some light..

thanks again



The head join is original and not repaired. I have photos of a guitar I once had, and I believe it could be from the same manufactory. Does it have the same, odd, internal neck block as my one? James


By the way, aren't the tuners a delight; absolutely hand-made.  

Hi James, here's a picture of the neck block, which isn't quite the same as yours.  I don't understand how the neck joint is made - I've built instruments with a 'Spanish heel' joint and was expecting to see the end-grain of the neck.

Yes, the tuners are great, each gear is slightly different.


The neck is butt-joined, i.e. the end grain of the neck is glued against the neck block shown in your last photo; probably not even dove-tailed in. The only strength from that type of join, comes from the applied fingerboard - although many flush fingerboard Lacotes etc still have their necks intact (but many are re-glued).


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