Thursday, July 21, 2016

July Update - a new Stauffer 7

This photo was taken by long time friend and aspiring lute builder, Bill Good. I was exhibiting at Boston Guitar Fest in the middle of June. On the table is my 7 string Lacôte. It was the subject of my last post. And getting a trial, my newest guitar, a 7 string Stauffer.

Many of my lute and baroque guitar clients have 6 string romantic guitars so my plan was to built two 7 string guitars; a Lacôte and a Stauffer and to exhibit them, side by side, at various festivals and private gatherings in the coming months. The Lacôte was ready in April in time for the 60th anniversary celebration of the Toronto Guitar Society. In early June I finished a model of a 7 string Stauffer (photo at left).

I try to build instruments that are faithful to surviving historical  models and often I can use examples that I have personally examined. However, 7string Stauffer guitars are rare and I know of none in public collections. Late last year I bought a copy of Stauffer & Co. by Erik Pierre Hofmann, Pascal Mougin and Stefan Hackl, Les Éditions des Robins. The book (shown below) is an impressive survey of the work of Johann Georg Stauffer, his son Johann Anton and other builders who worked in the  Viennese style from the early 19th century through to Ludwig Reisinger in the 1930s. Importantly, the cultural and musical milieu of Vienna of the era is discussed at length.

Sixty guitars are presented side by side in three photos; face, back and side. Each guitar is documented and its significance is discussed in English, French and German. The book is large, measuring 38cm x 31cm. The text and photos are conveniently placed on facing pages. Unlike many sources that list only the height and width of their subject, these authors include external measurements, 20 in all, for the 60 guitars on a two page appendix that immediately follows the last guitar entry .

I was delighted to find among the entries a 7 string guitar built by Johann Anton in 1827 with a string length of 64cm.  The guitar is a beautiful example of Stauffer's, design, choice of materials and craftmanship. This information provided not only a solid factual foundation but also the inspiration for my replica. I filled in details using my research on Stauffer and other Viennese guitars that I have studied in public and private collections.

After the Boston Festival I visited clients in New York City area for a guitar tasting. Daniel Swenberg watches as David Thompson tries a Panormo replica.

I was re-united with some of my earlier guitars. From the left; the new 7 string Lacôte 2016,  a 61 cm  Johann Anton Stauffer from 2004, an original La Joue 1820, a 1787 model Benedid that I built as a 6 course in 2001 and recently converted to a single 6 and a Panormo  from 2014.

I didn't take enough photos of the construction of my 7 string Stauffer  to dedicate a post to it but I have started a 6 string version of the same guitar. In the future I will publish a post or two about it including the details that are relevant to the construction of a 7 string.

Last week we started renovations on our house that affected my shop. My work has come to a stand still but the renos are going well and I'm hopeful, if impatient.



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