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19th Cent Mannello Harp Guitar

19th Cent Mannello Harp Guitar

Judging from the tuning machines, two full sets of ‘em and pretty darn good ones at that, American-made, I’d say late-19th, maybe early-20th century. I’ve had this harp guitar since the 1960s, had it in the window of my original store on Bedford Street for a while back in the 1970s, been put away for the last forty years or so. The label, which says Angelo Mannello /  Manufacturer of High Grade / Mandolins and Guitars / Awarded Highest Honors / New York .. and more, being in English, and some of the fingerboard inlays being standard stuff from the local New York guys who supplied all the local banjo makers, are also good clues, made right here in the good ol’ USA. Condition-wise, I’ll admit it’s seen some better days but it is eminently restorable. Various cracks, loose joints, fair amount of finish gone, but I’ll tell you what always got me about this instrument, the real reason I would never let it go: one particular inlay. For those among you of the literarily-minded set, specifically American humorists, you know who James Thurber was. Writer, creator of so many bons mots, charter member of that racscally Round Table set of the Algonquin Hotel in the 1930s (SJ Perelman. Dorothy Parker, Oscar Levant, Groucho and Chico Marx, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, more). His short stories such as “The Night the Bed Fell In” and more, movies he wrote, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, became standards, but for me, his drawings and cartoons were absolutely priceless. So for those of you similarly smitten, here is the face on the upper bout of the top; if that doesn’t look like a Thurber drawing I don’t know what does, got right to me the day I acquired this guitar.  Believe it or not, I actually have the original case bor it, in similar condition. The instrument itself has six regular strings and six sub-bass strings and enough mother-of-pearl inlay to make you stop and think. Offered as is for $1995 w/xohsc



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