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Thread: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

  1. #1
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    Default Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    This isn't a mandolin but hoping I can get some help anyway. A bit of an odd request but I’m asking for some help on a guitar that I am not going to show a picture of (yet). It is a handmade instrument (not factory) and inside the soundhole has some pencil markings. There are some initials (?), 1903 I think, and Nashville TN. Anyone have any ideas on who this could be attributed to or know any private makers from that area/era?

    Phil

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  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    This is the only listing for a Nashville maker from the Mugwumps site:
    Knaffl, Rudolph Nashville TN 1873

    Is there a reason you don't want to show the guitar?
    Jim

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    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    Thanks, but I don’t think that matches with the pencil marks.

    It’s a pretty unique guitar that I am researching and will probably do some kind of writhing on. Just don’t want to let the cat out of the bag yet.

    Phil

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    I love when we instrument hunters find a well-made one- or few-off instruments. I am definitely curious about this one.

    I have a feeling, tho, that what it may say is "Jul 1903 / Nashville, Tn" and not the name or initials of the maker. Was that written on the back?

    From that handwriting I would guess that it was written after the top was already attached.

    You sound pretty savvy but I will ask anyway if you were able to inspect the inside with a mirror to see if there are any other markings, labels or business cards on the underside of the top.

    Many years ago I acquired two similar instruments: a unique octave mandolin and a guitar from the same maker, an Italian-American in Chicago, but they were both easily ID-ed, one by writing on the inside back and the other by the luthier's business card. More recently tho I was contacted by the maker's descendants and the two cousins bought both instruments from me. We are really only custodians of these instruments.
    Jim

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    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    Jim,
    It could say "Jul 1903". I think I might see the L in Nashville having a line through it as well. Though why not just put the Y in July. You're not saving a lot of letters as with abbreviating November or something. After all he wrote out Nashville.

    I do have an inspection mirror that I looked inside it with. Didn't see anything. That said, my mirror is kind of small and I am not that good with it. I have been wanting to get one of these iPhone endoscope cameras to try and get a better look inside. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...d=KACKZQXCINCM.

    Sending you a PM

    Phil

  7. #6

    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    I look at what is being interpreted as "Jul 1903" and the first letter could be a "T". It is nearly identical to the "T" in TN. I wonder if the next two letters could be a lower case "r" and lower case "f"? The handwriting has a lot of fancy scrolls on the ends of straight lines.

    Steve

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    Registered User O. Apitius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    'not sure if this helps any. I tried bringing out the handwriting with Photoshop.


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    Default Re: Nashville Luthiers Ca 1903 — Handwriting Analysis Help

    Thanks for the photoshop adjustment. Yup, it could be T r f or I think it could just as easily be J r f. Another thought that recently popped in to my mind is I think I read before that in the past sometimes initials were put in different order than the traditional first, middle, last. That would add some confusion to things if it were the case.

    Phil

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