c 1891 Imperial Parlor Guitar Steel Tailpiece

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Shipped From
Gainesville, FL, United States
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About This Listing

This is a c. 1891 Imperial parlor guitar, built by John Church Company - yet, another Ditson-sponsored endeavour, e.g. see also, John C Haynes (Bay State/Tilton); Lyon & Healy (Washburn).

I've had a few guitars tucked away, awaiting repairs/restoration. Here's another that I offer for you to enjoy and/or ply your luthiery skills.
This is another testament to American creativity and ingenuity. The steel tailpiece AND bridge was patented to allow for steel strings. Indeed, this may have been the first guitar to be advertised as built specifically for steel strings. Many similar specimens on the market have had the steel tailpiece and bridge removed - in an effort, presumably, to enhance the sound with a wood conduit. This is completely unnecessary, as the Imperial is built of solid spruce soundboard and rosewood back/sides, and, in part owing to the steel bridge and tailpiece, resonates in a crisp and sharp, full sound. 

The neck is V-shape (appears to be mahogany) and the fretboard is rosewood.

The head contains the original ivory "Imperial" logo. The head, despite the prior injury depicted in the photos, is solid and sturdy. The ivory tuners are original as well. 

The soundboard, back and sides, have a few cracks in need of repair. The seams at the back/side on the bottom of the guitar have lifted slightly. And, the soundboard has a crack from the bridge to the soundhole, as well as a 2 crack on the upper/bass side, lower bout. These areas, in the least, require cleat and glue, but do not presently impact the sound or quality of the guitar. Yet, the guitar has not been re-strung in order to minimize the likelihood of exacerbating the injury.    

This is a rare specimen, being sold as-is. Please view and inspect the pictures prior to purchase, and feel free to message with any questions.

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed8 months ago
ConditionGood (Used)
Good condition items function properly but may exhibit some wear and tear.learn more
Made In
  • United States

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