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If the guitar sounds and plays well, who cares when it was made. Christof Hanusch (Berlin) gallery page which shows many beautiful instruments which are informative of the guitar styles of Germany: available in English and German.Two German sites with galleries: Leipzig Museum Guitars of the 17th century till the 19th century and Leipzig Museum Guitars of the late 18th century and the early 19th century Another good gallery is the Musical Instrument Collection of C. Rainer Krause collection: collection of Brigitte Zaczek:
This also corresponds to when Moretti's 6-string method appeared, in 1792.I have made every effort to show only instruments where the date is not disputed, but it is possible that some of the guitars on this page still bear unauthentic labels.If you are buying an instrument based on the label, beware of such fakes and check with experts.There are many fake labels, forgeries, labels removed from broken violins and inserted to guitars, and 5-course instruments which were altered to 6-string.Franciolini of Florentine was responsible for a number of 1780's fake labels.Experts can only guess if the label does not indicate the date, or if the label is missing, and their guesses often vary by a wide range.
The guitars shown here are, to the best of my knowledge, authentic and verified.
Granary Guitar Collection: Antique Guitars: sincere apologies if I've overlooked anyone.
Please write to me if I've overlooked crediting your photos and I will add credit them immediately.
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I cannot vouch for their authenticity, in fact, some of them look wrong for the year as noted in the comments - please write to me if you have ideas about any specific instrument shown here. This will hopefully be a useful tool for anyone to guess at the age of their undated guitar by comparing to these examples.