19th Cent Mirecourt

19th Cent Mirecourt

This is the most gorgeous, most elaborately hand-engraved mother-of-pearl inlaid and decorated guitar we have ever come across in our entire fifty-plus years career. While its maker is unknown, it is typical of guitars from Mirecourt, in northeastern France, which has been known for the finest stringed-instrument making since the sixteenth century. The body and neck of this guitar are of beautifully flamed maple, but that is only the beginning.  The entirety of every single fret of the fingerboard is a block of solid mother-of-pearl, and almost every single one of them has been hand engraved in a most detailed manner with scenes of buildings and houses, perhaps world-famous ones (the last few frets have elaborately engraved floral designs), and the detail work is nothing short of astounding. You can see each individual brick and roof shingle of every building, every leaf on every tree, smoke curling out of chimneys, birds flying overhead, a horse in the background of one; it goes on and on. The border of the top is a wide band of pearl, every bit of it hand-engraved with flowers, leaves and vines; the soundhole rosette is twice as wide with more flowers and vines, and with a quiver of arrows at its lower limit. One piece of pearl overlay is missing from the peghead. There is marquetry with literally hundreds of pieces of wood-and-pearl parallelograms around all edges of the sides and back, and the entire body is bound in ivory. And, possibly best of all, the engraver signed his or her name into the pearl inlay at the end of the fingerboard: “Gravé par Théresse”. And the case! It is the original fitted, lined wooden one, with a hand-painted pastoral scene in an oval in the center of the lid, has its original elaborately cast latches and handle, and 19th-century labels from the original  American Experss Company, which started out as a shipper, indicating that the guitar was sent either to or from Louisville, Kentucky. There’re is also an early United States Customs Service sticker, hand-initialed, for inspected baggage, on the end of the case. The original tuners, engraved and with carved mother-of-pearl buttons, are not on the guitar but they are included, needing restoration. This is major collector’s piece, quite intact, and can be played if one should desire to do so. An entire set of detailed photographs of every aspect of the guitar will be sent upon request.  It is offered as is, with its original case, at $10,000

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$10000.00
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