RESTORATION – Guitar, Legnani model, Made in Markneukirchen, ca. 1840. Attributed to C. F. Goram.
Subsequently modified in USA, ca. 1870.
This unlabelled guitar was recently acquired in the US, where it has clearly been for some time. The bridge and fingerboard are both replacements from around 1870, but otherwise, the guitar is Viennese in origin, a Legnani model guitar with a typically short stringlength of 609mm. The single-sided machine is well made and engraved with a sun emblem.
Examination of instruments in European colletions suggests the instrument to be the work of the Markneukirchen maker C. F. Goram, a contemporary of C. F. Martin.
The rosette is an unusual and delicately cut mother of pearl design with multiple ebony and maple purflings. The barring of the back is typically sturdy, as with all Legnani model guitars and the back is heavily arched. The belly arching is typical of the Legnani model- a simple ladder brace below the soundhole, but, interestingly, with an extra, asymmetrically scalloped bar behind the bridge. The neck is in excellent condition, being both straight and twist-free.
There is some worm damage to the back of the guitar, but of manageable proportions, so that restortion and conservation methods lead to a stable result not affecting playability.
The guitar also has an early American coffin case. Photos before, during and after the restoration are below.
The restoration is now complete. The instrument is fully playable and exhibits the tonal characteristics of the Legnani model. This guitar now resides in a collection at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.