Photo Archive of Hurdy-Gurdies


Top view of guitar-back. 17kb A view of the face of one of my guitar-shaped hurdy-gurdies. This one is of figured walnut with a cedar top, similar to the lute-back below. It has the more traditional adornments one might expect on a baroque instrument, such as the inlaid strips on the tailpiece and covers, and also the fancy black-and-white purfling around the soundboard's edge. It also has a carved figurehead, this one a custom job from a carver chosen by the customer.
Another view. On this instrument, the hardware is steel, unlike the brass used on the instruments shown below. Compare this hurdy-gurdy to the basic guitar-back in the next two photos: it is the same size and shape. This one was more expensive because it's highly decorated, but it plays the same as the one below. Side view of guitar-back. 12kb



Side view of basic hurdy-gurdy. 12kb These next two photos are examples of my guitar-bodied hurdy-gurdy in its simplest form, with the addition of sympathetic strings. Although the body shape is based on an 18th century instrument (now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston), all of the decorative features of hurdy-gurdies of that vintage have been left out. The customer wanted a basic guitar-shaped hurdy-gurdy with sympathetic strings, so I omitted the traditional decorative inlay and purfling and figurehead carving.
Here's a fuzzy view of the tuning head, showing the geared tuners and the basic non-decorative design employed to reduce the cost of the instrument. Tuning head of basic hurdy-gurdy. 13kb



Top view of lute-back. 21kb This order is built in a 19th century French lute-back style, with some non-traditional features. The instrument body is made of walnut, and it has a red cedar soundboard and holly and purpleheart decoration and keys. The holly and purpleheart's bold contrasts are tempered by the simple straight layout of the purfling, which was requested by the customer. Again, the tuners are geared machine heads, which makes tuning easy.
A couple of the other modern conveniences not readily apparent here are tangents which are screwed down, eliminating the effect of seasonal humidity changes and making their adjustment easy. Also, the sides of the headstock where the strings meet the tuners are open to allow easy access. The wheel is dished and has alternating color segments for interesting effect while playing. Side-angled view of lute-back. 21kb
End view of lute-back. 18kb Here it can be seen that brass hardware is used. Also, the walnut used for some of the staves of the lute body has some interesting color variation.





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