1850s Tilton Project

1850s Tilton Project

Sigh. The projects that get put aside for “later". We have here one partially dis-assembled, most unusual genuine parlor guitar with Wm. B. Tilton’s patent “improvement" installed, which has written in pencil on the underside of the top “ Restored by M. Umanov 8/68”. That’s forty-nine years ago. And the back is still off. But wait: There’s more! I’ve seen guitars made by others with Tilton’s Improvement added, even once saw a pamphlet he had printed with allegedly unsolicited kudos and raves about his “improvement”, but this appears to be a complete guitar wholly made from his brainstorming for redesigning the basics too, and includes his invention as well. Which consisted of……… a stick. Runs from the neck block to the tail block, and that’s it. Except for a pretty fancy silver-plated copper disc affixed to it, showing through the soundhole, with a patent date on it of March 4, 1856, and the names Zogbaum and Fairchild on it too; no idea who they were. I’ve also sen later versions where the disc was of celluloid; this one is obviously of a much higher style. The most fascinating aspect of the guitar is in its top: the grain is diagonal, at about a 45-degree angle to the centerline, and the top braces are diagonally laid out too, counter to the top grain. The back and sides are of course of terrific Brazilian rosewood, of a quality not seen in this century and rarely in the last. Condition overall is needing restoration. The back and neck are off; the back itself is somewhat dished; the fingerboard end is not present but the original tuning machines are, with gorgeous solid mother-of-pearl buttons. Well, four of them anyway. The top binding and heel cap appear to be of ivory or perhaps whalebone. There are two little holes what got poked into the sides, one each. So here it is, a wonderful restoration project for someone who would love to own a real parlor guitar, made when there were still real parlors. Looks like I’m not going to get around to completing the job too soon. $795 as is

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$795.00
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