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Late 19th or very early 20th Century small bodied parlour guitar with wood case

Late 19th or very early 20th Century small bodied parlour guitar with wood case

Late 19th or very early 20th Century small-bodied parlour guitar with wood case.   While there is no maker’s label, it’s clear that this lovely little guitar was built by a skilled luthier. Everything screams high quality from the neatly banded purfling right through to marquetry on the front of the lower bout. For a small guitar, it’s loud. It projects well and has a mellow tone Although there is a complete mix of styles (The marquetry is typically German, the headstock is typically French), I believe this was probably made at the turn of the Century and possibly before 1910, by an English maker called W. Gilkes. The accompanying case is certainly old. Although, it might have been made after the guitar was constructed. It is a very tight fit and currently doesn’t have any felt fitted to the interior. Consequently, the guitar sides have some wear. The worst of the wear is shown in the images. The guitar is being sold as is. I have not attempted to restore it as most people prefer their own luthier’s to do the work. This guitar is a very good example but it will need a little work. It is currently strung with 5 steel strings and one nylon. The steel rollers suggest that it was made for steel strings. Some Aquila nyl-gut strings might be a bit kinder to a guitar that is over 100 years old as the action is a little on the high side. I believe the bridge might have been replaced. It’s not glued down well. There is a stable split in the left side of the lower bout.  The gap doesn’t move. At some point, it has been used to learn on. The upper fingerboard area has very neat lettering. Dimensions are:
  • Scale: 24 1/2”
  • Nut width: 46mm
  • Upper bout width: 22cm
  • Lower bout width: 30.6cm
  • Body depth: 8.5cm (at waist)
Even as it is, it still sounds great.

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