10-Course Lute by Alec Hodsdon, 1948

Label reads:
Alec Hodsdon Maker
Lavenham, Suffolk
May 1948

Description: A 10 course lute with unusually large and angled pegbox. The back is of 11 ribs of figured maple, with a 4-piece capping strip inset with decorative stringing. The neck and pegbox are maple, the pegs of a European hardwood, possibly walnut. The fingerboard is possibly of the same wood.
The unusual rose is formed from repeating the initials of the maker: AH.

In its current condition the instrument is entirely original, but unplayable, being in need of restoration work to the pegbox joint and several loose bars inside.

The instrument is very lightly built and appears to have a very good tone. Instruments by Hodsdon are very rare and historically important, given the rarity of lute makers at that time who worked on historical principles. The design appears to derive from instruments built earlier in the century by Arnold Dolmetsch (see photos below).

Price As-Is in original case: $AUD 3500.00

Estimate of restoration costs: $AUD 2500.00. This would put the instrument into fully playable condition.


Top of Form

1. Arnold Dolmetsch is depicted playing a similar design of lute, built by himself in 1893 (see photos below). This lute is now in the Horniman Museum, London.

2. There is one other lute identical to the present one depicted online at: www.semibrevity.com

(see photo below.)

Alec Hodsdon worked on the famous “Halfpenny” Frei Lute which is now in the Warwickshire County Museum in England (see photo of belly with bridge below from: Galpin Society Journal 1949; p. 47 – An Unrecorded Lute by Hans Frei)