Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

Hello, as a new member, and not quite got the hang of the site yet, I will try to ask a question with photos. ( at the moment in my photos/ albums)

I have a guitar of 1830 onwards I think and I maybe totally wrong have a look and give me some advice. The person who found it added the 6 pegs as the strings were originally tied to the bridge. I back and sides have almost certainly been stripped and varnished (shame). 


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To me it looks like a Viennese/Austrian guitar... you can find a lot of photos of early guitars here: http://www.earlyromanticguitar.com/erg/gallery.htm for comparison. Does the instrument have a label or some sort of stamp on the inside?

Hello and thanks of reply. I found the site you mentioned and one of two others all very interesting. The Stauffer type head was used by others as you know ,the ebony work is from another maker. Who I do wonder. It will probably be a unknown maker.

It is in good shape no front or back cracks. I have not intention of selling it (being a acoustic guitar player) It will remain here as a talking point.

No label on inside,but all looks original and dusty.

Anyway a nice-looking guitar! Why not play it?

hi jelma, I am already doing this and it sounds lovely. Clear and warm tones. I play each day on a more modern acoustic but this one is becoming a favourite..I have quite a few guitars being a old rocker ...fender, Gibson with recent taylor acoustic amongst others.  thanks

Good :-) Nothing more lovely than an old guitar.

It looks early Viennese to me also but... You might contact Erik Hofmann concerning the guitar. He is arguably the most knowledgable concerning the 19th century Viennese guitar school. You can find his contact email here: His email is in the lower right hand corner of the page...



I have done exactly what you recommended Scot. I got the page up and as you said the email address was there. Since joining your forums I have had some great advice and encouragement.

Any replies I have from Erik Hoffmann I will add in my Replies so no one misses anything. thanks

Erik will help. Be prepared for a l o n g but informative reply.Hope you weren't offended by me tell where the email connection was on his page. It took me a while to find it the first time I looked at his page, pretty small and out of the way, so thought I'd save you a little time and point it out ;)

Most grateful for everything. Do not be afraid to suggest things.  :)

I seem to recall that there's a whole website devoted to the fine art of salvaging items from skips. I believe it's termed 'dumpster diving' in the US?

Anyway. That's not a bad find at all.

I would never have made a dustman I would have kept most things :).

It is a great find and playing well ...action a bit high but the neck is excellent after resetting 6 frets (loose one end and raised) It needs one new fret and I will probably make one. It has had one new one fitted sometime in the past .. it is so very obvious nothing like a original. A few old woodworm holes to sort out one day.

Made and fitted new (missing) fret, looks a bit new but it will weather in.


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