GUITAR BY BLEHEE MANGIN, MIRECOURT, ca. 1840
This is a very well made guitar by the Mirecourt firm of Blehee Mangin, ca. 1840. The back is birds-eye mahogany veneered on beech and the sides are solid birdseye mahogany. The soundboard is of bookmatched, very fine pine, the body purflings of ivory with multiple ebony and ivory stringing.
Dimensions: Stringlength: 642mm; body length: 450mm; max width: 292mm; depth of sides: 75-82mm. The fingerboard is at the level of the belly and there are the traditional 17 frets found on most French guitars.
Overall condition of the guitar is very good – it was recently restored in this workshop and is in fully playable condition, with an excelent action, straight neck and a strong but refined tone, typical of the French school. The belly is ladder braced wth an angled bar before the bridge.
The longer stringlength (642mm) is typical of Mirecourt guitars of the period and makes this guitar a useful instrument for the classical player looking for the romantic guitar sound without having to dramatically alter the left-hand technique.
The fretboard and silver “T” section frets are original and in good order, except for the 12th fret, which has been replaced with similar material. The original ebony pegs are well adjusted and easy to use.
This guitar comes with a fitted Kingham case.
The lower treble bout of the guitar has several repaired cracks; there is a repaired crack in the bass centre bout and a short edg crack in the upper bass side of the back. The belly has 6 repaired cracks. All cracks were treated, stabilised and reinforced during the restoration in 2011. The current pin bridge is an exact copy of the damaged original. The soundboard beneath the bridge is inn very good condition.
Back and belly following stabilisation of cracks.