My vintage Hawaiian Acoustic Guitar
Made By Giuseppe Indelicato Contarino
This guitar is believed to be over 100 years old. Made in Catania, Italy. By Giuseppe Indelicato Contarino. This guitar model No.19. I fell in love with the guitar approximately 10 years ago, when I saw it in a second hand shop in Honiton, Devon.
I just simply had to buy it. I am particularly fond of the shape and its curves especially the bow back. These wooden bow backs are a feature seldom seen anymore on guitars especially, probaly due to the labour intensive task involved apart from the skill needed to make these has probably been lost. It features Mother Of Pearl inlays on the necks fret board and what looks like ivory but i'm not sure, inlay for the scratch plate in the shape of a harp. Pretty cool!
About 7 years ago, I under took the task to restore the body which I know there are those that say that I should have kept it totally original, but it was in such a state. It was a decision that I took because I wanted a decent looking guitar that was probably too fragile and going to be impractical to play every day. This was going to be primarily hanged up on a wall for display purposes. The body was originally finished in what looked like very dark french polish of some sort so I stripped this off down to the natural wood. There were some areas on the back that needed glueing because the original glue used had deteriated over the years. This was easily done by using an injection needle, injecting the glue in places and carefully clamping the wood together and leaving to dry. I then re finished the body with a clear laquor spray finish, aproximately 20 coats to make it durable. This was okay but the action was extremely high and was not really a great playable guitar although the sound was superb I decided that something had to be done with the action to make this a real playable guitar.
Thanks To Simon at Brook Guitars
About a year ago, I decided to ask our friend Simon at Brook Guitars to take a look and see if something could be done with the guitar to make it easier to play. He said to leave it with him. About two weeks later I received a call to pick the guitar up it was ready and playable. I was amaized that he undertook to completely remove the neck and re align it in place. All this with no visual evidence or cosmetic damage to the guitar at all. So I now have a very playable and lovely looking vintage guitar in my collection. Brook Guitars website can be found at www,brookguitars.com
In my next article. I will be featuring my first custom Hand Made, half fan fretted Brook Guitar. This guitar I have loved and used every day. Beautifully made and sounds fantastic again thanks to Brook Guitars.
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