1900s Bauer-made Size 2 Parlor Guitar

There's no branding on this guitar but I'm pretty sure it was made by the Bauer company in the 1890s or early 1900s. It has a number of nice features including a radiused, ebony fretboard and Brazilian rosewood back and sides. The overall build is very plain but upscale. There's no binding and the only decorative touches are the pearl dots in the board, the celluloid around the soundhole, and a single-ring rosette.

There weren't any apparent old repairs to the guitar, but the neck heel was was split and looks like it had been fudged-with. My own repairs included a neck reset, fret level/dress, seam repairs, and fill/recut of the bridge pinholes and saddle slot. While this probably would've been used with gut (modern day: nylon) strings at the time is was built, the owner wanted to use steel and the build is heavy enough that 46w-10 extra lights are fine on it. After work, it plays like a champ and has a clean, sweet, and open voice that suits fingerpicking.

Specs are: 24 3/16" scale, 1 13/16" nut width, 1 9/16" string spacing at the nut, 2 3/8" spacing at the bridge, 12 1/2" lower bout, 9 3/8" upper bout, and 3 7/8" depth at the endblock. The board has a ~14" radius and a soft, medium-V profile on its rear. Action is 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret.

The nut is bone and original. In fact, the only non-original bits on the guitar are the saddle, pins, and endpin.

Brazilian rosewood is good-looking stuff, that's for sure.


Brad Smith said…
Very nice Jake. Are those extra light bronze strings on there? The Bauers i have seen have very fine, sculpted bracing, so that might be another clue.
Jake Wildwood said…
Yep, the bracing was really similar to one of yours. Only the back bracing was different -- slightly simplified. I think the owner's possibly rolling the dice with steel, but the it seemed OK after a couple days strung-up so we'll see.