Monday, 19 September 2011

British-made Windsor Whirle tenor guitar - or is it a baritone ukulele?
This Windsor Whirle was made in Birmingham, UK, according to the eBay seller in the 1920s. Myself, I'm not so sure about that, and would widen the timeframe to anytime in the 20th Century up until the 1940s. But perhaps the seller knows something that I do not.

The guitar (or whatever it is) is not in the best of condition having developed a split in the back right down the centre. However, I feel it is worth showing here because it's such an unusual-looking instrument.

Although the seller refers to it as a "tenor guitar", I wonder if it was actually intended as a baritone ukulele. Note the gut or nylon strings rather than a tenor's usual steel strings (you can see also that the bridge was never intended for steel strings) plus the relative compactness of the whole design. The scale length is said to be 52cm - that's nearly 20 1/2" - which is nearer to baritone ukulele scale than tenor guitar (usually about 23").

A Google search for "Windsor Whirle" will tell you that they produced a range of banjos in that name. Note also the banjo-like headstock on the instrument pictured here.

(For some reason I get a sense of deja vu about this whole blog post. I could swear I've posted something similar before but cannot find it in the archives).

G L Wilson

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1 comment:

  1. It's a while since you posted the blog on the Windsor Whirle tenor guitar/uke. The factory was destroyed by German bombs in 1940. Here is a link to the instruments type in all its glory.



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