1920's Parlor Guitar?

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1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby boxertwin » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:00 am

Gooday, I've not been around here for sometime now. I'm looking at this Parlor which is stated to be a 1920s/30s
Brazilian Rosewood. Apparently it has no numbers, identifying markings,brand/model no. anywhere.
Did they make laminated wood guitars back then, or were they all made of solid woods?
Thought some of you more experienced guys may have some idea on what it could be, and
whether it could be the Authentic article. Image
Parlor Guitar by boxertwinjeff, onImage
IMG_0802 by boxertwinjeff, on Flickr FlickrImage
IMG_0803 by boxertwinjeff, on FlickrImage
1 by boxertwinjeff, on FlickrImage
untitled by boxertwinjeff, on Flickr
Last edited by boxertwin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby zhyla » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:13 pm

20's-ish is probably a good guess. I reworked a very similar guitar years ago. It was branded "Lyra by Bruno". Plywood for guitars was pioneered by Kay, I think in the late 30's? I'd be very surprised if this wasn't solid wood. But one thing they did have back then was painting faux rosewood. I really doubt the back/sides are rosewood. The fretboard on mine was something odd (walnut, etc) that was dyed to look like ebony.

If you like the sound of it, go for it, but I wouldn't pay more than say $150 for a no-name parlor of this style.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby s1120 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:22 pm

Wether it is that old or not, its a cool little bugger!!! Looks to be in pretty nice shape also.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby Gham » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:11 pm

www.vintageparlorguitars.com you could ask this guy,he hangs out on the Acoustic Guitar Forum (another cool site),
He keeps a selection of inexpensive parlors (mostly birch and not quite that old) but he may know what it is,good luck
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby boxertwin » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:51 am

Even as a no name Parlor,. being of that Vintage I would have thought it would
be worth abit more than $150. Is there much demand in the U.S. for guitars such as this?
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby zhyla » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:57 pm

boxertwin wrote:Even as a no name Parlor,. being of that Vintage I would have thought it would
be worth abit more than $150. Is there much demand in the U.S. for guitars such as this?


When I had a parlor GAS attack about 4 years ago I scoured ebay for weeks. Parlors with a well-known brand name (Stella, Martin, etc) can bring a pretty penny. Parlors with obvious high-quality appointments (ebony fretboard, killer inlay, real rosewood back/sides) seemed to be in the $300 and up range. And guitars like this one, were $100-200. Maybe prices have risen. Poke thru ebay, you'll find several like this one I'm sure.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby Freeman » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:23 pm

The other thing that will affect value is playability, of course. How is the neck angle (remember that you are looking at $300-400 to reset it)? Fretboard and frets? Looks like the bridge is shifted - if it is a floating bridge no problem, if it was glued it would need to be pulled and reglued. I'm assuming it is ladder braced because of the tailpiece - these have a bit of a following because they do have a funky blues sound. I also doubt if its a laminate, but you should be able to see that strong back grain pattern on the inside. That pattern and color doesn't look like braz to me, but it should be the same color inside if it hasn't been stained. Remember however that many guitars werer stained - even 18 series Martins have a red/brown stain on the mahogany.

Cool funky little guitar, whatever it is.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby zhyla » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:51 pm

I guess I should have mentioned one other thing. The parlor I had looks identical to this one. And I did a bunch of work to it to make it playable. And to be honest, it didn't sound very good. It was cool looking but that was about it. Obviously this is subjective, but I think expectations were different for guitars 100 years ago.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby ricbleu » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:20 am

I think that zyhla is correct in saying that the backs were often painted to appear like an expensive timber. When I was young and learning the skills of furniture making, I met an old tradesman whose job was to paint cheap timbers to emulate oak etc. He was very skilled. Look at the back of this little guitar - it's not bookmatched for a start, and from what is visible through the soundhole, the tone of the wood is considerably lighter inside than outside. It certainly looks cute but what does it sound like? Do you want it to play or to hang on the wall? I don't wish to be a wet blanket here, but I doubt that you've uncovered a treasure. :( But as always :D Peace.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby blueshome » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:23 pm

I've a very similar guitar labelled "Sterling". We've found this design in a pre WWI mail order catalogue, $2.50!, won't be worth more than 10x that now. The back looks just like mine which is birch painted to look like rosewood. Sounds great and is loud, great for old blues and slide.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby boxertwin » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:42 am

My Post wasn't so much about what i'ts worth, but more about whether it was actually a 90 years old instrument.
Its a definate keeper. I'm after a rustic, funky little parlor for acoustic blues & Slide, and this one will fit the bill!
I'll sort the technical bugs out, and Overtime I might even dress her alittle, such as a headstock torch,
as I have a friend whos skilled with inlays.
BTW: what pickup would be most suited to this instrument? a Schatten Western Mini?
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby Lo-Fi » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:38 pm

The use of laminates in guitars goes back alot further than the days when Kay mass produced them. I have seen Stauffers and Martins from the 1830s with backs and sometimes sides made with mahogany or maple over spruce. Ain't no problem with a good stiff double sided guitar. The Gibson J-200 even came with laminate back and sides beginning in the mid-1950s and I don't know too many folks who would kick one of those out of bed.

Your parlor most certainly could date from the the mid-1920s into the 1930s. Quite a few of the pre-War parlors and concerts seemed to have survived and they do turn up pretty regularly. Who made it is anybodys guess. An expert (which I ain't) might be able to identify it by bracing and such. But other than that without markings it is anybody's guess.

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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby ricbleu » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:24 am

Youa re quite right, you never mentioned whether or not it would be valuable, but whather or not it was authentic 1920's 30's. I apologise for implying that you were assessing her value :oops: . Is there any steel in the neck, or better still, an adjustable truss rod? She's a real cutie, that's for sure. :D Peace.
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby boxertwin » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:50 pm

What about this Baby!
$(KGrHqR,!k4E2D8G8L2PBNl3N1UpbQ~~_12.jpg
$(KGrHqR,!k4E2D8G8L2PBNl3N3z)yg~~_12.jpg
$(KGrHqF,!lME2EZ+Eyv8BNl3ODbut!~~_12.jpg
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Re: 1920's Parlor Guitar?

Postby stumblin » Wed Apr 27, 2011 9:35 am

boxertwin wrote:What about this Baby!
$(KGrHqR,!k4E2D8G8L2PBNl3N1UpbQ~~_12.jpg
$(KGrHqR,!k4E2D8G8L2PBNl3N3z)yg~~_12.jpg
$(KGrHqF,!lME2EZ+Eyv8BNl3ODbut!~~_12.jpg

Sweet lookin' little guitar 8)
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