Anonymous French Lyre Guitar, c.1800

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NOTE: I always strive to represent instrument's color and condition as accurately as possible

Provenance: An iconic entryway piece of the Miner Museum for over ten years, I am making this instrument available after acquiring another. Though unlabeled, this instrument (likely built in Paris) is similar to many others made in Paris from the c.1785-c.1815 heyday of tabletop-standing lyre guitars. The wonderful metal eagle head arm tips likely re-purposed from a fine furniture supplier appear on many lyre guitars by different makers.

This one is unusual in having tied gut frets like lutes and early guitars. It plays and sounds fine, though I would not recommend it as a main playing instrument due to its fragility. I discovered that it was apparently built without any bridge plate whatsoever, when one day the bridge just ripped right out of the top (even with low tension strings). The damaged top can be seen in the photos. Repairs (and an additional thin bridge plate) were done by Blue Guitars in San Diego.

I acquired the instrument from luthier/dealer Lorenzo Frignani in Modena, and am offering it for substantially less than my cost, due to the visual repair. It remains a beautiful 200-year-old piece of guitar history.



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