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Questions: Mystery Guitar

Questions: Mystery Guitar

by James Buckland

Originally published in American Lutherie #102, 2010

Joël Dugot of Musée de la Musique in Paris, France asks:

Our museum has received as a gift what seems to me to be an American guitar from the end of the 19th century. As there is no label nor any mark on it (except on the tuning machines: “G.EON”) my problem is to correctly identify this instrument. The body is made of nice quality Brazilian rosewood; the neck and V-jointed peghead are covered by a thick and hard black varnish. String length is 62CM, body widths are 28.8CM/17CM/21CM, and body depth is 8.5CM/7.5CM.

James Buckland from Clinton, South Carolina replies:

I’m a bit surprised to see this guitar in Paris. It looks like a mass produced “workshop” guitar, but is not in the French style, so I would rule out Mirecourt as its place of origin. To me it appears more Germanic and may have been built in Markneukirchen, Saxony, a town known for its music instrument production, much of which was for export. I’ve seen many similar instruments in the USA and Canada, and would date it middle or late 19th century, perhaps early 20th century.

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