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A Panormo that has been in the family for many years has been fully restored. The guitar is 174 years old and is quite mysterious.
The guitar as it arrived. The Panormo label looks authentic but it is deteriorating and turning black. The portion of the label that would show the date of manufacture is missing. Someone has written "Louis Panormo 1843" on the soundboard, as if, knowing the label was to be lost, the information should be inscribed onto the soundboard. I have been told that number 2077 is consistent with other Panormos of 1843.
The shape of the guitar is not consistent with the usual Louis Panormo guitar, but looks very much like French guitars of the period. Louis made other guitars in the French style, but I am told this is the first example known in 1843.
The bridge is very much of the French style. With the back removed, there is evidence of previous substantial repairs. A thick, crude, mahogany veneer has been added to the forward end of the Brazilian rosewood back as reinforcement.
All bars on the back were loose and needed re-gluing. Cloth patches on the Brazilian rosewood ribs are more signs of a previous restoration. A strongly written pencilled signature is written on the underside of the soundboard. Is it the signature of the person who did the previous work on the guitar? What does "Alec."mean?
The restored body and back of the guitar ready to be re-united.
The guitar ready to be returned to its owner. It is strung with Aquila "Nylgut" strings and plays wonderfully well.
String length: 634 mm
Overall Length: 938 mm
Width of upper bout: 257 mm
Width at waist: 180 mm
Width at lower bout: 324 mm
Height at upper bout: 79 mm
Height at lower bout: 86 mm
Nut width: 48 mm
Weight: 1.175 kg
It is interesting to note that this French Style Louis Panormo guitar
has a similar string length to other Panormos and weights about the same,
but the body is wider and less deep.