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The guitar is owned by a musician in Kent and is to be restored for his personal use. As it arrived in 2012.
The charming J. Geo. Morley label on the back of the guitar is from a shop in London. The owner has been into the shop many years ago. The machine heads are not original as Panormo seems only to have used Baker machine heads. However, these are stamped VR with a crown, something I had not seen before. Queen Victoria was crowned in 1837, the year before this guitar was made.
Here, the soundboard here is joined of two pieces, perhaps to avoid a knot. The modern replacement bridge has come away. It is not a shape that Panormo would have used and a replacement will be made. The outline of a previous bridge is almost discernible.
The label and a digital camera view inside the guitar before the back was removed. It's easy to place a small digital camera inside a guitar and use the timer.
The back removed, showing the original soundboard barring, soundboard repairs, the back and its repairs. The bars on the back had come away from the back and needed re-gluing.
Items removed from the soundboard.
Work begins on reinforcing the many cracks in the lower part of the soundboard. Existing repaired cracks in the back were also reinforced.
With the soundboard repaired it was time to make a new bridge. Using some ebony I have had for years, I made the main body of the bridge. The mother of pearl dots with ebony surrounds were next, followed by the shapely bits that connect the two.
I generally avoid using ebony as it is so scarce and endangered,
but I will use it if an ebony replacement is called for in a restoration.
The new bridge in place with original ebony and mother of pearl bridge pins.
The restored guitar. I was concerned that the many cracks in the lower soundboard would be a weakness, so strung it with Savarez White Card (low tension) strings. I need not have worried, the guitar plays beautifully with a splendid tone, astonishingly full for a guitar 175 years old.
String length: c. 640 mm
Overall Length: 935 mm
Width of upper bout: 226 mm
Width at waist: 173 mm
Width at lower bout: 285 mm
Height at upper bout: 86 mm
Height at lower bout: 89 mm
Nut width: 46.5 mm