French Lyre Guitar, c.1800
to expand photos to maximum size
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.
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.
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
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