Thursday, 15 December 2011

Louis Panormo copy, polished and strung

I recently finished this Panormo copy, the full story of which can be found here. I'm delighted with this guitar, both in terms of its sound and playability. It is a fairly accurate copy, if copy is the most appropriate term. Perhaps replica or facsimile are better, or just 'guitar in the style of...'? There are some differences from the original, such as the choice of Indian rosewood for the back and ribs, and the back is solid rather than rosewood veneered onto pine, although some Panormos featured this style of construction.

Although not usually required by modern players, the turned bone or ivory strap buttons are an unusual and distinctive feature of Panormo guitars. The 2 small buttons mounted on the back were intended to have an old guitar string strung between them, which could then be rested on a belt buckle or something similar, thus supporting the guitar. The large end button would have held one end of a strap; the other end being tied to the headstock.

Many 19th century guitars feature pin bridges, where the string is held in place by small wooden pins, rather than being tied as they are on a contemporary guitar. It is these differences that make this type of guitar so much fun to make, as they represent a subtle change from the guitars I normally build. A Panormo bridge is really rather more complex than a modern bridge, and is very distinctive and unique.

The top model produced by the Panormo workshop featured mother of pearl embellishments in the rosette but I opted to go for the all wood version. The picture above shows the guitar strung, but the label is not yet installed.

The picture below shows the end button, which is much larger than anything you would see on a modern instrument. Many years ago I acquired some old and broken chess pieces, and I have fabricated this button out of one such piece. It really does look the part.

This instrument is currently for sale. Please contact me for more details.

(Sold December 2011)

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