Gaesel| Legnani | 1860 | SN:None
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- Model: Legnani with sloping shoulders and with the clock key mechanism
- No serial number
- Year: 1860
- Top: Spruce
- Back & Sides: Brazilian Rosewood
- Back Bracing: Ladder bracing
- Neck: Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Bridge: Ebony Tuners: Not original
- Bridge Pins: 5 original Ivory pins
- Nut Width:1 11/16″
- Body Length: 36″
- Lower Bout: 11 3/4″
- Upper Bout: 9″
- Body Depth: 3 3/8″
The owner of this historical instrument, Clifford Lueck says: “I acquired this Karl August Glaesel guitar in 1996 from an Antique Store and it needed work. The top was very loose, the back was almost off, the bridge fell off, etc. In taking the back off I discovered German Script which you can see in one of the photos.
Translated from the Max Kade Institute of German American Studies, it reads: From K. August Glaesel Neukirchen Saxony All Kinds (of) Instruments 1860. I have since acquired more information on Karl August Glaesel that I will share. Karl August Glaesel Wiener from Markneukirchen. He worked (apprenticed) a length of time in Vienna.
He was a violin and guitar maker and lived 1809-1864. In 1843 he was taken in the Markneukirchen Guild of Violin makers. He made primarily guitars and in 1850/51 was the Superior Master of the Guild in Markneukirchen (Germany) (One has to remember that Germany was not Germany until the 1870’s.) The Glaesel family was an extended family of instrument makers, especially in violin making, but some were also guitar makers.
The most important guitar makers of the Glaesel family in the 19th Century were: Karl August Glaesel Wiener (1809-1864), Karl Wilhelm Glaesel (1813-1864) and Johann Ludwig Glaesel (1815-1900) brothers. Moritz Carl Glaesel Wiener (1828 Wien-1917), and Johann August Glaesel (1837-1900 New York) sons of Karl August Glaesel. Heinrich Hermann Glaesel (1838-1910), and Gustav Adolf Glaesel (1841-1908) sons of Karl Wilhelm Glaesel.
Karl August Glaesel’s nickname was “Wiener” because of his apprenticed days in Vienna. It is my belief that Karl August Glaesel apprenticed with Johann Georg Stauffer and until someone can prove me wrong, this is going to be my belief. One simply does not acquire the skills to make a guitar that 150 years later is still in playable condition unless they apprenticed with the Master himself, Johann Georg Stauffer.”
© Clifford J Lueck (used with permission)
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