1910s Penzel & Muller
Penzel & Muller were well-known makers of clarinets ca. 1890-1950. They had a storefront here in New York City in the early 19th century at 368 Bowery, in a building that is now long gone, and was very near the Cooper Union, a much-revered engineering school where Abraham Lincoln gave a famous speech in 1860, and which building stands to this day. The guitar’s interior label, which is partially intact, reads G. L. Penzel & Müller / Manufactures and Importers of all kinds of Band and Orchestral Musical Instruments / ITALIAN, FRENCH AND GERMAN STRINGS / ALL KINDS OF INSTRUCTION BOOKS / Old No.368 Bowery / NEW YORK / REPAIRING NEATLY DONE. 368 Bowery was later re-named 6 Cooper Square, which is partly legible on the label. While the guitar was almost surely made for them, rather than by them, it is of exceptionally high quality, with mahogany back and sides, spruce top, and straight bracing. The body is in between the size of a Martin 12-fret 0 and 00, 13-5/8” wide at the lower bout. The 12-fret neck, with original tuning machines and frets, a 1-3/4” bone nut and truly comfy feel, has a 25-1/2” scale. The tones are big and clear, bright across the entire spectrum, with an action that is a bit higher than some and will work well for those who tend to play with a stronger attack; it is quite easy-playing with a correct set of .011-.050 bronze strings. We have gone over this guitar thoroughly here in our own workshop to make sure that it is strong and tight in every respect and it is a truly wonderful instrument. This is a very hgh-quality, solid guitar from the early 1900s, and is quite the bargain at $2495 w/ssc.