c.1920 Unmarked German Parlor Guitar

This is a very lovely German parlor guitar probably c.1920-1925 or so, though in appearance right off the bat it looks quite a lot like a c.1850s instrument. Construction, however, once you feel inside, eliminates that idea at all. It's braced quite robustly, has a nice strong neck and neck joint, and accepts a set of silk & steels quite nicely. In fact, before I dressed the brass frets, it looked as if this had only been played with steels for close to 100 years.

At some point in its life, this guitar was refinished and restored. The headstock lacquer is not quite as glossy as the neck lacquer and the finish is far too "even" to be as old as the 1920s. It also looks like poly as opposed to a typical old varnish that would be the usual on an instrument like this.

Though unlabeled, it's immediately recognizable as German in origin due to the hourglass figure, general stying (the rosette and wood-bound and fancily purfled top are a dead giveaway) and strong build. It's loud, focused, warm but subtle, and a perfect fingerpicking instrument. The tone is remarkably balanced and sweet, yet with a lot of response. In short: it plays like it looks!

Nice herringbone trim.

Rosewood fretboard with newly dressed/polished brass frets.

New bone nut, unoriginal replacement tuners probably c.1970/1980s. I removed the gaudy gold enclosures for them and they feel a bit better now.

Lovely birdseye maple on the back and sides.

Side shot.


Exceedingly pretty bookmatched birdseye maple back with inlaid center strip of maple. The 3d effect in person is wonderful.

Tuners again.

Typical neck join.

Back detail.

Side detail.

Bridge with new ebony pins. I'm guessing the bridge is maple that's been woodblacked to an ebony finish. Very typical of the period.