Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Headless lute-style roundback nylon-strung guitar

The guitar that I found in this eBay listing is a complete mystery to me. I think I just about said it all there in the title - it's a headless lute-style roundback nylon-strung guitar, and it's acoustic. From the photos it does look pretty old, but how old? There really is no way of telling. The only thing that could offer a clue is the presence of Grover tuners, but even that's not saying much as tuners are easily replaced.

The seller mentions that:
"These vintage guitar-lutes where most common in Germany during the late 1880s to about the 1920s. This era was called the wondervogel movement..."
...but would this particular instrument have come from that era? I'm particularly interested in the headless design and am wondering what were the very first ever headless guitars (or guitar-like instruments)? I know that, contrary to popular belief, Steinberger wasn't the first, but just how far back does the concept actually go?

G L Wilson

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