2/21/2010

c.1925 Harmony Mahogany Parlor Guitar


Nice! This guitar is entirely original save the nut and bridge, is crack-free save for a 1" on the top lower bass bout edge, plays great, sounds great, and looks great. It's a perfect blues or old-timey guitar with a direct, open, and loud, up-front tone. Plenty of natural "reverb" too. Notes leap out. Did I mention the finish, aside from a few scuffs, is more or less flawless and original?

This is more than definitely a Harmony build from the 1920s -- headstock shape, body form, bracing, inlaid marquetry, etc. all conform to other guitars I've worked on. This one has some spectacularly pretty solid mahogany throughout, however -- top and back are both one-piece and the back has curly figuring, the sides have nice swaths of pretty "depth" to the grain, and the neck is a cozy, medium-v shape that suits a fingerpicker's hand quite nicely.

It's also super lightweight.


Repairs included resetting the neck, setup, and new nut and bridge, as well as the usual cleaning, fret polishing, etc. Someone tried to steam the neck off at one point with a hole drilled through the 12th fret but apparently never followed through. There are also a couple amateur seam reglues on the back/side joint, but nothing to cause alarm. All is well.


Original brass-plate & bakelite-buttoned tuners. New bone nut.


Some type of nondescript hardwood fretboard, with MOP dots and brass frets.


You can see where the 12th fret had been pulled out rather crudely - chipping. The cracks in the board have had a bit of glue wicked down into them.


Nice looking hog on the top, huh? The finish is a ruddy brown color that's super attractive.




New rosewood bridge is a repurposed mandolin bridge. The resonator-guitar style tailpiece is original as the mounting holes and wear marks match up perfectly. I sort of wonder if this guitar was intended for lap playing from the get-go as the tailpiece angle was previously much higher as if this guitar were intended for a high floating bridge.


Nice multicolored marquetry inlay.




Cool three-ply heel cap looks nice.






Really just some fantastic looking mahogany on this guitar!



...lovely wood!


And the end-pin area has an end-strip, too!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

beautiful little guitar. Thanks for bringing her back to life.

Michael said...

IS this guitar for sale...or did you fix it up for someone else?

Antebellum Instruments said...

Michael: A lucky Californian got the drop on it within about an hour's completion of work on it. That fast!