19th Cent Therese
A beautiful, if somewhat mis-conserved, 19th-century European parlor guitar, probably from the 1840s, somewhere in France, possibly Mirecort. The engraving on the mother-of-pearl border, the rosette, and peghead medallion is nothing short of spectacular, with roses-and-leaves motif (think Sir John Tenniel, from “Alice”), with the engraver having signed his (or her?) name in pearl over the tail block: “Gravé par Thérese”. The back and sides are of rosewood, the top spruce, and the neck of typical European design with separately dovetailed peghead, similarly the cone-shaped heel, all in original black. Finish on the back and sides is original, the top finish questionable, though how anyone could ever have done a refinish without compromising that beautiful engraving is beyond me and extremely unlikely. The tuning machines are original, brass-mounted, and gorgeous, with hand-engraved backplates with “VR” with crown proof marks; the buttons are beautiful carved and polished ivory, two missing, the rollers original bone. There are several top and back cracks, apparently dealt with many decades ago, the ivory back binding off and partially present, the bridge a replacement. Overall this is a stunning instrument, in need of restoration but well worth it, at $1995 w/ssc as is.