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Late 19th or very early 20th Century small-bodied parlour guitar with original leather case.

Late 19th or very early 20th Century small-bodied parlour guitar with original leather case.

Late 19th or very early 20th Century small-bodied parlour guitar with original leather 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. Although there is a complete mix of styles (The marquetry is typically German, the bridge and 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 a good clue to the age of the guitar as this style was less prevalent after 1910. It is supplied together with the original leather case. (The case on its own is very collectible). I say that it’s leather because it feels and looks like leather. It is hand stitched and has a little wear at the aperture. The original fastening strap and clasp are no longer there and a modern lock has been attached. It looks like the handle has been replaced with a newer leather strap. The green felt lining is original. 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 the bridge to be re-glued. It is currently strung with steel strings. It appears that it is correctly strung with steel strings, but some Aquila nyl-gut strings might be a bit kinder to a guitar that is over 100 years old. There is a stable split in the left side of the upper bout.  The gap doesn’t move. At 4.5 / 5mm, the action is on the high side too. The guitar on its own is easily worth what I’m asking. The case is the icing on the cake. Dimensions are:
  • Scale: 24 3/8”
  • Nut width: 44mm
  • Upper bout width: 24.9cm
  • Lower bout width: 31.6cm
  • Body depth: 8.4cm (at waist)
Even as it is, it still sounds great.

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