Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November Update - Guadagnini Stauffer Voboam

Lucas Harris with his 1831 Gaetano Guadignani

My shop was shut down for three months from July to early in October for renovations to our house. Once I got back to work I've been busy.

I finished the restoration work on an 1831 Gaetano Guadagnini that I started several years ago. I knew this was going to be a challenging, long term project. There were numerous  cracks in the soundboard - some that had been shimmed and more recent ones.  All needed attention.

The edge of one side rib had received a nasty bump, cracking the rib and fracturing the interior lining. One back bar was split and another was loose. Mechanical tuners had replaced the original wooden pegs damaging the peg head and naturally there were many unexpected surprises.
I'll report on my restoration in detail in the next week or two.

I have added a search function to this blog. The search box is located in the sidebar between the Blog Archive and About Me. Now you can quickly find previous posts. Type in an instrument name or an historical maker's name. All of my posts associated with your entry will display in the order of your choosing.

Screen Grab from the catalogue of the Gardiner-Houlgate auction house.

Carlos Agonzalez, referring to my posts on building a Martin Kaiser theorbo (late 2011), sent me this link  click here to the auction house that was selling a theorbo similar to the Kaiser theorbo  E.24 in Musée de la musique, Paris. Without making an attribution to Martin Kaiser Gardiner-Houlgate points out the similarities. Both lutes have the same build date of 1609. The veneered design on the back of both necks is an arrangement of ivory and ebony chevrons.  Furthermore, the string lengths of both lutes are similar, especially the diapasons. The catalogue photos are not precise enough to see the subtle construction features of the theorbo extension but there seems to me to be a general agreement in design. Also, although the bowl of the Gardiner-Houlgate lute does not appear to be flattened like the Paris instrument, the way the ribs come together over the rear of the bowl seem to have been given the same treatment.
Photos of E.24, the Paris Kaiser, are available here . Type Martin Kaiser in the search box.

Thank you Carlos for bringing this item to our attention. This is an interesting lute that might otherwise receive little notice.

I've made progress on the Stauffer model that I described in my last post. It will be finished soon and I will describe its construction soon.

And there is a new Voboam underway.

Here are some of the positive benefits from the renovations to my shop space. The bandsaw sits in a formerly unusable area that was a hallway. A wall was removed and I was able to spread out the power equipment in the formerly cramped machine room.

I re-organized much of my shop including cleaning out a neglected area under a stairwell, installing panelling and mounting shelves. Now all of the incidentals that cluttered my benches have a home.

All photos by the author except as noted.