Lucien Gélas

This guitar made by Lucien Gélas was in a pretty bad shape. In order to make it playable again a compromise between restoration and repair was necessary. I left as many parts as possible in their original state but had to replace a number of significant parts.

Lucien Gélas was born on January 15th, 1873 in Menton, Alpes Maritimes. He was a guitarist and teacher and also developed the concept of the “double resonance guitar”, which he had patented and manufactured. Heinrich Albert, guitarist from Munich (1870-1950) was so enamoured wich these guitars that he recommended them to all his students, the most famous of whom are Luise Walker (1910-1998) and Bruno Henze (1900-1978).


This Reisinger instrument was supposed to be made playable again. Because the guitar had a screwed-on neck, the decision to replace it completely was straightforward. I built the new neck wider than the original and designed it in such a way to allow more space between the strings and the edge of the fretboard. This also enabled me to place the frets in their correct position and consider their compensation.

Thanks to the screwed-on neck the instrument could be restored to its original playing condition very easily.

Ludwig Reisinger was born 1863 in Vienna. After his apprenticeship with Ignaz Johann Buchner he opened his own workshop in 1887. It did not take long for him to become one of the most famous luthiers in Vienna and gain international recognition. The young Hermann Hauser I. was deeply inspired by Reisinger’s guitars. Hauser’s Vienna Style guitars are the best example of Reisinger’s influence on Hauser.

Transport damage

Unfortunately this instrument was damaged during postal transit. Apparently the package was either placed or dropped on the ground with force.
Thanks to the owner, who kept all the little bits and pieces, I was able to put everything back together again.

Head replacement

This guitar of unknown origin was abused in many ways. Originally the head was fitted with wooden pegs for tuning. Because these were not as easily to use as mechanical tuners, the head was replaced and a tuning mechanism from a zither was used for at least for 5 strings.
Furthermore, the bridge was loose. Therefore, a block of oak was inserted into the guitar and fixed with five screws through the bridge and the soundboard.