The harp-guitar bears the number 59 on the heel of the neck and is inscribed on top below the fingerboard: Patronised/by the/Society of Arts. The instrument is of dark flamed wood (maple back stained to look like rosewood and spruce top) and has an extensive foliate motif on the top and gold banding on the back. The rosette is a masked gilded sunburst. The six-string distinctive headstock is probably by Panormo and appears to be a very early graft replacing Levien wrestpin tuning. The seventh string is operated by a harp pin. The carved decorative ivory and engraved brass machinehead tuners are also probably by Panormo. In addition to the four brass ditels, there are holes to accommodate a capo. The frets, nut and saddle are all ivory.
This a very attractive harp-guitar in unusually good condition. Machine tuning was already popular in the early 19th century and this headstock was apparently an early replacement. It is typical work of the Panormo shop, Panormo being the premier guitar maker in London at the time. The headstock probably covered up the maker's name which must have been L. Levien. Levien was the inventor of the harp-guitar; although from Paris where he returned in later life, he lived in London for many years.INS-13702$3,200