John Doan home concert with various antique harp guitars with the sun setting in the background through the window.

For the past few decades, John Doan has made a few select pieces from his unique historical musical instrument collection available for sale. This is a rare opportunity to not only own a fine piece of music history, but one carefully inspected and cared for by John Doan. Many of these instruments have been repaired and restored under the hands of renown experts specializing in these instruments. Others have been hand-crafted specifically for John. The majority of these have been featured in many of his concerts. To purchase any of these instruments, contact John Doan. (additional photos of the instruments will be added in the coming weeks).


The following is an overview highlighting outstanding and rare instruments available currently for sale. You will find more detail about them below.

  • HARPOLYRE. J.F. SALOMON, Besançon, c. 1829. For Price Contact John Doan (the first amplified guitar in history, perhaps the first by this maker, extremely rare and a world class museum instrument)
  • Irish harp (anon.) ca. 1860 – 1880, Ireland – $4,450
  • Child’s Classical Guitar, (anon.) ca. 1810-1830, France – $5,000
  • Classical Guitar model 1A, 1971 by José Ramirez III (AC), Madrid, Spain – $5.000 (John Doan’s personal classical guitar for which he is the original owner)

Instruments for Sale

HARPOLYRE. J.F. SALOMON, Besançon, c. 1829. For Price Contact John Doan


Signed in a brass cartouche on the peghead: “SALOMON Breveté.”

This is the first amplified guitar in history!  To learn more about the harpolyre and John Doan’s recording of Fernando Sor’s music written specifically for the instrument go to “The Lost Music of Fernando Sor” elsewhere on this site.  This is the very first and only recording of this music.


J.F. SALOMON, (1786-1831) taught singing and guitar. In 1828 he invented a three-neck guitar called “HARPOLYRE”.

There are 21 strings across three necks. It is mainly played on the middle neck, Salomon titled this neck the “Ordinary Neck” and tuned it like the standard classical guitar.


The left neck, (facing the instrument) is for the bass strings and is called the “Chromatic Neck” and has 7 strings tuned one octave lower: A; Bb.; B; C; C#; E; Eb from low to high.

The right neck is called the “Diatonic Neck” and has 8 strings forming the C major scale: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C or C minor with the B, E and A lowered a half-tone.

The face of the instrument is made of fine-grained Spruce edged with a purfling of a eleven layers of alternating black ebony and a white wood that could possibly be ivory.

Three sound holes are edged with the same purfling.

The back and sides are made of Cuban mahogany.

The three Necks and fingerboards are overlaid with ebony.

The peghead is decorated with golden bronze motifs.

The tuners are comprised of 22 original ebony pegs. 21 are to be used for stringing with an additional peg on the bass Chromatic neck to balance the appearance aesthetically with the same number of pegs for the right Diatonic neck. This feature only appeared on the very first harpolyres.

There are 3 ivory nuts at the head stock and ivory bridge saddles in the Original bridge made of ebony and ivory, with 21 ebony pegs.


This is one of the earliest examples of a harpolyre as it has the connector metal pieces which would connect to metal rods holding up the instrument and by way of a physical connection to a podium would cause the instrument to be amplified and tonally adjusted by a series of foot pedals!

Total length: 102.5cm.

Scale length: N. 1°: 63,4cm. N. 2°: 54cm. N.3°: 63,2cm.

The instrument has some cracking that has completely been repaired and stabilized and is in remarkable condition for approaching 200 years of age!

Irish harp (anon.) ca. 1860 – 1880, Ireland – $5,450


This is a very rare and attractive hand made Irish harp from the mid to third quarter nineteenth-century. This was just after the Great Irish Famine between 1845 and 1852.

The instrument has 17 strings attached to metal pens and is fitted with wire strings. It is highly unusual because of its pillar design that has a strong arc outward. The body is painted in green with original hand painted shamrocks on the soundboard and sound box and numerous carved details in the harmonic curve that include painted details in gold on both the pillar and harmonic curve.

The instrument was found in an antique store in Dublin in 1996 by Deirdra Doan and had just been brought in from an estate auction where it was said that the last of the line of horse breeders had died and that the instrument had been in the family for over a century. The instrument was then brought back to the USA and completely refurbished by Robert Lundberg who was a noted luthier famous for his research and construction of historical instruments. He said it was made by a master builder.

To purchase this instrument, contact John Doan.

Child’s Classical Guitar, (anon.) ca. 1810-1830, France – $5000


This is a perfectly proportioned child’s guitar with Ivory frets. It is incredibly rare to see an instrument of this size from this period and would likely have been commissioned by a wealthy client with a child. The instrument has new internally geared peg tuners and sounds fabulous!


It has an incredibly detailed inlayed rosette depicting St. Cecelia (Patron Saint of music) complete with clouds and cherub in the sky

To purchase this instrument, contact John Doan.

Classical Guitar 1A, 1971 José Ramirez III (AC), Madrid, Spain – $4,000

Originally designed by José Ramírez III in the 1960’s, the Traditional 1a is a world class instrument and has the balanced powerful tone, beauty, and playability associated with classic Ramírez guitar


This instrument was not available to the public and was considered by Jose Ramirez III to be one of his exceptional instruments that were only sold to concert artists (not available for sale at his shop or for export). It was made with some experimental features such as a very thin top (at a “G” tap tone where most other of his guitars are at “A”). This emphasizes a deep and incredibly full tone to the instrument that can be strong and forceful and yet can sing and lull the player and listener as well.

Very few names have been as influential in the development and history of the guitar as the name José Ramírez. The family tradition was born around the year 1870, when a 12 year-old boy began an apprenticeship at a local builder’s workshop. He worked to develop his skills and in 1882 he founded the José Ramírez workshop. Now in its fourth generation, the Ramírez name continues to be the gold standard by which all other Spanish classical and flamenco guitars are measured.

The 1a Traditional begins the Concert line representing top quality in workmanship, detail and choice of wood. Ramirez guitars have set the mark for Concert level guitars for many years as the business gets passed on from generation to generation. Class 1a Ramirez guitars have been performed on by countless professionals over the years from Sting to Segovia, Chet Atkins to Sabicas and Lee Ritenour to Christopher Parkening. It is very easy to play, with a lovely neck and easy action.

The instrument has been the personal and main classical guitar of John Doan since it was made in 1971. He has been its sole owner.


This classical guitar features a solid Red Cedar top and beautifully figured blood red Brazilian rosewood for the back and sides. The slotted headstock has a Brazilian Rosewood overlay and engraved exposed gear gold tuners with pearlescent buttons. The rosette is a mosaic of red roses entwined by green stems. The rosewood bridge features an ivory saddle and a bone bordered harness for securing the string ends.

The 1970’s Ramirez is designed for power and projection. The fingerboard is beveled thinner on the bass side to give higher action in this area and enable the player to achieve greater volume without string buzzing. The ebony reinforcement bar in the neck was introduced in the mid 1960s and is a standard feature on modern Ramirez guitars, not to mention, it has since been adopted by many other modern luthiers.


This guitar is an excellent example of a fine Ramirez for either collector or concert player. It is of the few guitars to have the workshop maker’s initials listed in the inside heel of the instrument. The “AC” are the initials of Alfonso Contreras Valbuena (later no. 7).

Also see: Flicker Image

See a listing of the school of makers of Jose Ramirez III that includes Alfonso Contreras (translated).


It is in excellent playable condition with an area beneath the sound hole of repaired nail scratches. A hidden fine crack in the rosewood back was cleated at the Ramirez workshop soon after it was completed. Included with the guitar is an original Mark Leaf hermetically sealed fiberglass case with plush maroon colored velvet lining (a $1000+ value).

For more information on Ramirez, be sure to read The Ramirez Family: Masters of the Guitar, as well as information on the Ramirez family members, from Amalia Ramirez back to Jose I.


  • Top: Red Cedar
  • Back and Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Scale: 26 1/4″
  • Nut Width: 2 1/8″
  • Year: 1971
  • Serial Number: 4790
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Bridge: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Headstock Shape: Slotted
  • Headstock Overlay: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Tuners: Gold 3 On-A-Plate Slot-head, Pearl Buttons
  • Rosette: Mosaic
  • Purfling: Mosiac
  • Body Binding: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Nut Material: Ivory
  • Saddle Material: Ivory
  • Case: Original Mark Leaf Case Included (#286)
  • Cypress Lined Sides

To purchase this instrument, contact John Doan.

The John Doan Instrument Collection

The following musical instruments are a part of the John Doan Instrument Collection. Some are available for sale, others have been sold, and others are part of the continuing collection, representing several hundred years of musical instruments and history. To purchase any of these instruments, contact John Doan.

Harp Guitars for sale

The following harp guitars are available for sale.

  • Harp Guitar by Angelo Bernardi, 1922 (6 sub-bass strings) (for sale, see below)

Harp Guitar by Angelo Bernardi, 1922 (6 sub-bass strings)

Photo by Gregg Miner

This harp guitar has 6 sub-bass with 6 standard strings on the guitar fingerboard. It was completed in an Italian design by Angelo Bernardi on May 12, 1922 in Missoula, Montana. It is striking in its appearance which is wherein most of its value lies. It has wonderful lines especially in its extended bass column and is remarkably thin. It is a great example of American folk art with an Italian flare.  Angelo has wood burned Bernardi onto the top.  All tuners are hand carved wooden pegs.

Harp Guitars Sold

The following harp guitars were sold.

  • Harp Guitar by Chris Knutsen, ca. 1890’s (5 sub-bass and 7 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Chris Knutsen, ca. 1890’s (5 sub-bass strings)
  • Harp Guitar Style 6 Dyer Bros. by Larson Brothers ca. 1909 (5 sub-bass strings)
  • Harp Guitar by John Westling, ca. 1988 (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by John Westling, ca. 1989 (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Orville and Bob Milburn, ca. 1995 (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Stephen Sedgwick, 2010 (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)
  • Travel Harp Guitar by Lukas Brunner, 2010, Lavin, Switzerland with two separate necks (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Jay Buckey Company, 2013 (Dyer copy with 6 sub-bass strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Jay Buckey Company, 2013 (7 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Jay Buckey Company, 2014 (7 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings) #132
  • Travel Harp Guitar by Lukas Brunner, 2015, Lavin, Switzerland (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)

Harp Guitar by Jay Buckey Company, 2014 Granadillo (Mexico) #132 – SOLD

harp-guitar-ukraine-1This harp guitar has 7 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings and is ready to play and enjoy. It was unfortunate that the maker was unable to finish the instrument properly but now it has been brought into playable condition by renowned Portland, Oregon luthier Kerry Char who reconnected the bridge, set the action, and restored other flaws the instrument came with. It is now in great condition!

The Granadillo back and sides is a beautiful red toned and non-endangered wood that is denser than rosewood and has been used in guitars for over a century.  It comes with a soft harp guitar travel bag.  If you are looking for a good sounding and easy to play twenty-one string harp guitar this could be the one for you.  It is in new condition and comes headache free. Buy direct from the maker at your own risk.


Dimensions as provided by the maker:

  • Scale Length: 650mm
  • Overall length: 1023mm
  • Body length not including heel cap: 501.5mm
  • Upper bout width: 289mm
  • Waist width: 252mm
  • Lower bout width: 400mm
  • Body depth: @ heel: 98mm, @ waist 102mm, @ end block 109mm
  • Top arch: 1.5mm
  • Top thickness: 3mm @ bridge position, graded to 2.5mm @ bass periphery, graded to 2.7mm @ treble periphery
  • Sub-bass chamber 2.5mm
  • Sound hole diameter: 96mm
  • Neck body joint to sound hole center: 157mmharp-guitar-ukraine-2
  • Sub-bass sound hole diameter: 44mm
  • Back arch: 3mm
  • Back thickness: 2.2mm
  • Side thickness: 2.2mm
  • Head: 26mm thickness
  • Head length: 300mm
  • Nut width: 48mm
  • String spacing at nut: 40.5mm
  • Neck thickness: 21mm to 23mm 1st to 9th frets
  • Neck width at 12th fret (neck/body juncture): 58mm
  • Bridge length: 300mm
  • Bridge width: 35mm

Central six string guitar (high to low), Elixer light gauge with polyweb coating:


  1. .012 – e’
  2. .016 – b’
  3. .024 – g
  4. .032 – d
  5. .042 – a
  6. .053 – E

Sub-basses (high to low), LaBella silver plated copper-wound classical:

  1. .054 – D
  2. .056 – C
  3. .058 – B
  4. .060 – A
  5. .062 – G1
  6. .064 – F1
  7. .066 – E1

Sub-bass String Length:

  • Longest 821mm
  • Shortest 776mm

Super Treble string Length:

  • Longest 319mm
  • Shortest 180mm
Dyer Harp Guitar Style 6 Larson Brothers ca. 1909, USA – SOLD

dyer-harp-guitardyer-hg-headstockThe Dyer harp guitar is the most sought after harp guitar today and is the chosen instrument of the finest players including Stephen Bennett, Stacy Hobbs, Andy Wahlberg, etc. It is known for its full bass and guitar sound and fine craftsmanship by the Swedish Larson Brothers in Illinois at the early quarter of the 20th century. It has a standard guitar neck with five sub-bass strings extending down in pitch from the guitar’s sixth string.

This instrument has a clear label (many have faded or no label at all) that adds to its value.

It states inside:
Style 6 no. 617
Patented in US and Canada
Manufactured by
W. J . DYER & BRO.
Saint Paul, Minn.


It is one of the very few Dyer Harp Guitars that have sequin inlays in the bridge. It has a number of additional inlays that are assumed to not be original. It has been fitted with new bass tuners for ease of tuning. The original tuners will be included separately with the instrument for those wanting to put them back on for museum showing.


This instrument is one of the best harp guitars available today and is ready to play and enjoy.

To purchase this instrument, contact John Doan.

Harp Guitar Inventory

The following harp guitars are not currently available for sale.

  • Harp Guitar by Chris Knutsen, ca. 1898 (5 sub-bass and 7 super-treble strings)
  • Harp Guitar by Gibson, 1906 (6 sub-bass strings)
  • Concert Harp Guitar by John Sullivan w/Jeffrey Elliott, 1986 (6 sub-bass and 8 super-treble strings)

Photo by Gregg Miner

Harp Guitar by Chris Knutsen, ca. 1898 (5 sub-bass and 7 super-treble strings) 

Christ Knutsen was the first patentee of the “One Arm” harp guitar in America.  He built harp guitars and other related instruments in Port Townsend, Washington in the 1890’s.  He later moved to Tacoma, Seattle and ultimately to Los Angeles following projected population centers that might support his instrument building activities.  People then use to make their own music in their parlors, in a local music club or would come out to a theater to see a vaudeville star playing one.

This instrument is an early example of his work which represented his personally favored design of a harp guitar with not only sub bass strings and a six string guitar neck but also with an additional bank of strings John Doan has coined “Super Treble” strings (note in his family photograph both he and the misses are posing with harp guitars fitted with super treble strings).

John had previously owned a somewhat smaller version of this type of harp guitar but found the instrument displayed here to be better made utilizing more detailed finishing of ivory and colorful purfling as well as being made with rosewood back and sides which gave the instrument a more forceful tone.

This particular instrument is perhaps the first harp guitar in modern times to be recorded for a national and international market on the ground breaking “Guitar Sampler” for Windham Hill Records back in 1986 that sold in the hundreds of thousands of units.  The famed pianist George Winston contacted John about a demo John submitted for the recording and had never heard a harp guitar before (this is pre-Michael Hedges before his outstanding work on a Dyer harp guitar became known).  He told John that Windham Hill was only going to have live tracks without overdubs on the album to feature the break out guitarists of the 1990’s and asked John if he could send him such a track.  John told him that what was sent in fact was a single take without overdubbing.  George then asked John to send him a video so he could see for himself that all the music was coming from a single instrument.  This was the harp guitar used for that track.

The top of the instrument was braced fairly thin and had distorted over time.  If one looks closely, you can see how each of the guitar strings were adapted with individually placed bridges to help the instrument play in tune.

The super treble strings all needed to have a zither key to tune them.  Even the bridge next to the tuners was notched to make for the longest length of string to speak well with the rest of the instrument. Because of this John directed Jeff Elliott and John Sullivan on his career instrument to increase the length of the super treble strings to give them more body.

Knutsen’s harp guitars only had 7 super treble strings which became the precursor to the 8 strings John realized would complete an octave of pitches that he later had incorporated into his Elliott/Sullivan that has become the standard for many modern full range harp guitars today.

The headstock displayed a pre-cloud design later famous on the Dyer harp guitars and featured unusual gouged out holes for the strings to connect to the tuners.

The head stock was tapered to visually sequel with the sub bass design.  A laminating strip of rosewood was spliced into the neck through to the crown of the peg box for stability and reinforcement.

The sub bass tuners were of the friction and not geared type common in early harp guitars.

The back of the instrument has a remarkably flaming red grain pattern that old Chris probably thought was very cool!

The fret board had inlays on the first, third, fifth, seventh, tenth, twelfth, and fifteenth frets.  It is noteworthy that it was common to have a tenth fret indicator dot on early guitars, not on the ninth fret as is the custom on contemporary guitar necks.  Given that John Doan played for years on this historical harp guitar he has had all subsequent harp guitars made for him with the dot on the tenth fret.

It is also worth noting that Chris Knutsen explores incorporating a 14 fret neck where the neck joins the body.

This is a truly transitional instrument bridging the 19th century to being an inspiration for the first modern harp guitar built by Elliott/Sullivan in 1987.

Guitars for sale

The following guitars are available for sale. Please note that several of these instruments are from the 1800s.

  • Child’s Classical Guitar, Unlabeled, ca. 1820 (for sale, see above)
  • Classical guitar by Johann Anton Stauffer ca. 1830 (for sale, see below)
  • 7 String Classical Guitar by Glasel ca. 1850 (for sale, see below)
  • Classical Guitar by Jose Ramirez III, 1971 (for sale, see above)
Classical guitar by Johann Anton Stauffer ca. 1840-50, For Price Contact John Doan

Johann Georg Stauffer (1778-1853), an Austrian Luthier, was one of the most famous makers of early guitars.  He is famous for having taught guitar making to Johann Georg Martin who came to America to start Martin guitars.

This is a rare instrument made by his son Johann Anton Stauffer (1805-1871) who took over his father’s workshop in 1833 the same year Martin started making guitars in America.  Martin was the foreman in Stauffer’s workshop who in turn taught Johann Anton Stauffer to make guitars. It wasn’t until 1836 and there after did he build guitars under his own name.

The beautifully shaped body with it highly figured maple back is all original but sadly the neck and bridge are not.

This instrument has a clear label inside testifying to its authenticity.

7 String Classical Guitar by Glasel ca. 1850, For Price Contact John Doan

This is a very rare seven string guitar attributed to Glasel, a German maker from the mid nineteenth century.

It is high end from top to bottom, has an unbelievable tone and is remarkable in its many fine detailed features.

The inlaid purfling border and around the sound hole are beautiful to behold.

The back and sides are of a dark rich figured grain.

The neck is adjustable with a key so the action can be modified easily.  The neck does not touch the face of the instrument that allows the top to fully vibrate adding a surprising resonance.

The headstock is carved in a distinctive lyre design.

Guitars Sold

The following guitars are sold.

  • Classical Guitar by Petit Jean De Jeune A Paris, ca. 1790
  • Gibson Guitar, ca. 1945-54 Serial number X98(or 9)7(or 2)5 ?6(or 5)8
  • Classical Guitar by Vincenzo De Bonis, 1952 (for sale, see below)
Classical Guitar, 1952 by Vincenzo De Bonis, Italy –  SOLD


This classical guitar is a fine instrument hand made in Italy by Vincenzo De Bonis in 1952. The De Bonis family has been making instruments since the 19th century and has specialized in stringed instruments from violins to historical reproductions of baroque guitars. This instrument is one of the rare guitars build by Vincenzo.

The most striking feature of the instrument is its full and warm tone that makes it a joy to play. It’s back and sides (and neck!) all are made of Brazilian rosewood with a spruce top.


The label reads:

(Hand signature: Vincenzo De Bonis)

John Doan has played this instrument in concert in a large hall to great effect. It has a magical and seasoned tone. If you are looking for a unique, romantic and dreamy sounding guitar, this is the one.



  • Top: spruce
  • Back and Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Scale: 25 3/8″
  • Nut Width: 2″
  • Year: 1952
  • Serial Number: none
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Bridge: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Headstock Shape: Slotted
  • Headstock Overlay: Brazilian Rosewood
  • Tuners: Silver 3 On-A-Plate Slot-head with white Buttons
  • Rosette: 20 concentric rings alternating in black and white
  • Purfling: six bands alternating black and white
  • Body Binding: black wood (perhaps ebony)
  • Nut/Saddle Material: Bone/Ivory
  • Case: Original hard shell case


To purchase this instrument, contact John Doan.

Guitar Inventory

The following guitars are not currently available for sale.

  • Joseph Panormo Classical Guitar, ca 1819
  • Parlor Guitar Unlabeled (Glasel), ca. 1870
  • Classical Bogwood Guitar by Gary Southwell, 2013
  • Classical Guitar by Foggy Mountain Guitars, Signature Series “Mason Williams” line, China, 2006 (prototype)

Lutes & Related Historical Instruments for sale

The following lutes and related historical instruments are available for sale.

  • Harpolyre by Soloman, Paris France, 1829 (for sale, see above)
  • Lauten-Guittare by Goltz, Germany, ca. 1870 (for sale)
  • Renaissance Lute by Franciolini, Italy, ca.1890 (for sale)
  • Baroque Lute ca. 1940 (Sold)

Gitarrenlaute by Goltz, Germany, ca. 1890-1920 For Price Contact John Doan

Photo by Gregg Miner

This is a Gitarrenlaute (lute-guitar or known as lutar) by the German maker Goltz. It was a part of the tradition of the Wandervogel countercultural movement in Germany in the first half of the 20th century

It is museum quality with many detailed elements that makes it a very attractive decorative art piece in addition to being a musical instrument. The crown of the headstock is most striking with its hand carved likeness of Pan – the Greek God of the wild and more rustic aspects of our being.  When Pan would play his Pan Pipes it would lure the listener into the more earthly and bodily realms.

The rosette is an elaborately carved lyre inset into delicately rendered leaves and roses suggesting the spirit of music within nature.

The top of the instrument is made of spruce shaped like a lute with ebony frets glued onto the face to facilitate the highest playing positions.

The strings are attached with pens into a finely carved leaflike terminating bridge. Some surface cracks exist across the soundboard.

The back has multiple ribs of maple reaching up the neck to six tuners and ultimately to the theorboed extension with four more tuners for sub-basses similar to harp guitars of this period that were poplar in Germany and parts of eastern Europe.

The ebony fingerboard is scalloped to allow for a light touch and a singing vibrato tone achieved by pressing downward instead of by moving the string side to side.

The tuners are inset to the headstock with one tuning button missing.

Overall, this is an elegant and dramatic instrument that is a delight to display.

Renaissance Lute by Franciolini, Italy, ca.1890 For Price Contact John Doan


Leopoldo Franciolini (1844–1920) was an Italian antique dealer who specialized in selling historical musical instruments.  His only problem was that once he sold all he found he still had orders to fill.  As the story goes he began to be creative and started to have various parts of old instruments put together and sold as authentic historical instruments!  The instrument I have here is most likely an assemblage of very old parts of lutes with tuning pegs going back to the 17th century, a harpsichord rose, along with a hodge podge of other old and perhaps newer elements.

The old lute top has a wonderful painting  intended to look like the soundboard painting on the set of instruments Amati made for Charles IX.

I have been told (and thanks to David Van Edwards for his many insightful observations) that the lute back is more mandolin like in form with a typical deep endclasp continuing as an edging round the back. The shape is also typical of mandolins [and Franciolinis] and not of lutes.

The neck has an impressive appearance but may not have actual ivory inlays but may be made of an ivory looking celluloid material from a century ago.

The headstock is of an unusual shape and angle and could possibly be from a baroque guitar.

The back of the neck is inlayed with similar material as the fingerboard and headstock.

The rose appears to be many centuries old.

The bridge is made of ivory but it may previously have been used to place silverware upon as to not touch the table cloth.

Overall, Franciolini’s “Frankensteins” are very impressive as displays and works of art as they were most likely originally intended. They have a desirability as collectors pieces and this lute does take your breath away as you enter into its presence.

Lutes & Related Historical Instruments not for sale

The following lutes and related historical instruments are not currently available for sale.

  • Cittern, Unlabeled, England, ca. 1750
  • Harp Lute Guitar by Edward Light, England, ca. 1799
  • Dital Harp by Edward Light, England, ca. 1815
  • Lyre Guitar, France, ca 1820
  • Harpolyre by Soloman, Paris France, 1829 (as mentioned above)
  • Harpolyre by Soloman, Paris France, 1830
  • Vihuela by Wally Eubanks, USA, 1980
  • Baroque Guitar after Stradivarius by Carlos Michelutti, Italy, 2010
Baroque Guitar after Stradivarius by Carlos Michelutti, Italy, 2010

Carlos Michelutti is a master luthier of Cremona, Italy.  He told me that he would take lunch breaks at the nearby Museo del Violino and sit in front of the case that held one of Antonio Stradivarius’s baroque guitars.

Museum staff noticed his repeat visits and honored him with opening the glass case and letting him hold and personally measure the instrument so he could make an exact replica.   His finished instrument came within a few ounces of the original and has remarkable tone that is vibrant and projecting.

The headstock was replicated to include the exact appearance and lettering of the original made in 1681.

The rosette was carved with the precision and craft of the master with a parchment backing and scores of minute perforations outlined with dazzling pearl inlays.

Where the neck and the body meet Carlos has included the same Venetian Family emblem that appears on the original.

The back and sides are left without ornamentation and the neck has understated inlayed striping just as appears on the original.

I fell in love with the instrument and Carlos himself when we first met at a guitar festival in Venice, Italy.  I highly recommend anyone seek out Carlos’s instruments. He is considered one of the most brilliant, kind, and generous of the Cremona builders keeping the tradition of fine craftsmanship alive today.

Lutes & Related Historical Instruments Sold

  • Lyre Guitar – Unlabeled, France, ca.1800
  • Baroque Guitar by Harold Synder, USA, 1978
  • Renaissance Lute by Daniel Hachez, USA, 1973
  • Harp Lute Guitar by Edward Light, England, ca. 1815
  • Renaissance Lute by Gerhard Reither, Germany, 1971
  • Hurdy-Gurdy Kit 1990
  • Baroque Lute, 1940’s

Renaissance Lute by Gerhard Reither, Germany, 1971 SOLD

Renaissance 8 Course Lute was made by the famous East German luthier Gerhard Reither of Markneukirchen. This fine lute was built in 1971 and comes with a hard case. Built with a variety of hardwoods, it has a solid spruce top and 20 curly maple back ribs, maple neck and rosewood fretboard.  This is a beautiful instrument.

There is a lot of detail in the crafting of this instrument with a finely carved rosette and a precision tooled bridge.

The bowl back is a feat of woodworking beautifully showing off the curly maple in an elaborate multi-rib design.

The headstock is finely constructed with detailed with hand turned pegs going into a back enclosure of rosewood.  The back of the neck is reinforced with two stripes of rosewood as well.

This is a good instrument for the beginning to intermediate player.


The following harps are available for sale.

  • Irish Harp, Ireland, ca. 1860 (for sale, see above)
  • Celtic Harp, Queen Mary by Wally Eubanks, USA, 1982 (sold)


The following mandolins are available for sale.

  • 12 string Mandolin by Harwood, ca. 1900 (for sale)
  • Mandolin by Joseph Bohmann, ca. 1890 (sold)

The following mandolin related instruments are not available for sale.

  • Mandola by American Conservatory, ca. 1890
  • Harp Mandolin, Unlabeled, probably by McVey), ca. 1900


The following banjos are not currently available for sale.

  • S. S. Stewart Classical Banjo Orchestra, ca. 1890 #12494

Banjos Sold

  • Coulter Banjo Mando-Cello, Portland, Oregon, ca. 1920


The following accordion is currently available for sale.

  • Universal Accordian – “The Pitzschler”, ca. 1900 (for sale)


The following zithers are available for sale.

  • Bowed Zither by Georg Tiefenbrunner, Germany, ca. 1860 (for sale)
  • Zither by Hermann Oertel Wein-Wahring, Germany, ca. 1880 (for sale)

The following zithers are not currently available for sale.

  • C. F. Zimmerman Autoharp, USA, ca. 1882
  • Tremblelin/ maker unknown, USA, ca. 1910
  • American Mandolin Harp, USA, 1915
  • Ukelin, USA, ca. 1925
  • Tremeloa, USA, ca. 1930
  • Hill Country Harp, USA, ca. 1930

Miscellaneous Instruments

The following instruments are available for sale.

  • Violao, Portuguese Azore Islands, Ca. 1910’s (used on John Doan’s Wayfarer Recording) (for sale)
  • Square Grand Piano, USA, Ca. 1880 (sold)
  • Guitar Case, Mark Leaf, John Fahey’s Fiberglass Touring Case (for sale)

The following instruments are not currently available for sale.

  • Silvertone Hawaiian Electric Steel Guitar, USA, ca. 1940
  • Violin labeled Joseph Panormo, London England, 1809
  • Concert Ukelele by Lyon and Healy, USA, ca. 1920’s

Turn-Of-The-Century Home Entertainment

The following turn-of-the-century home entertainment instruments are currently not for sale.

  • Concert Gem Roller Organ, USA, ca. 1880
  • Rollmonica, USA, ca. late 1920’s
  • Edison Phonograph, USA, ca. 1918

Chinese Instruments

The following Chinese instruments are currently not for sale.

  • Pipa, China, ca. 1890’s (sold)
  • Zheng, China, Fujian Provence 1988 (sold)
  • Erhu, China, Fujian Provence 1988 (sold)

To purchase any of these instruments, contact John Doan.