Baroque lutes

Baroque Lute after Hans Frei (Vienna KHM C34)
This is the most popular model ordered, below is examples of the different versions made over the years, String length 67.3cm and 73.2 cm, or 70/76 basses in f'( a=415Hz). String lengths are suggested but not fixed and can be adjusted up or down slightly to suit you. some customers provide string spacings to match a current instrument they have to make the transition easier if required. The body is 14.2 deep.

In figured Maple

The instrument on the left can be heard here and here, the instrument on the right can be heard here or played much better by Alex McCartney on his  CD Mesangeau's Experiments, heard here

In Indian Rosewood and Black Walnut

In figured pearwood and Black Walnut

The rose shown here is the one on the original instrument. A 13crs with pearwood back and ebony veneered neck can be heard here.

String length is 67.3cm with 73.2cm for a bass rider.

Baroque Lute based on Hans Burkholtzer, Fussen, 1596 (Vienna NE48)

Another popular choice is the Hans Burkholtzer multi-ribbed back lute, it has a stringlength of 70.2 cm and 76.4 bass courses in a Bass rider. The body is 14.8cm deep.

In Heart/sapwood Yew with Olivewood panelling on the neck and pegbox, this instrument was originally made a few years back as a 10 crs but was recently converted to a 11crs as would have been done historically with old lutes.

In Figured maple, great care was taken to get the figuring to match across the back as much as possible. The instrument can be heared here

The Burkholtzer has the most eleaborate of treble and bass riders as seen above, the conversion done by Edlinger

The original rose (10crs lute shown here)

The original in the Vienna museum

Swan Neck  Baroque lute based on Leopold Widhalm, 1755 (MIR 903)

This popular Swan neck lute has a string length of  74cm and 100cm, the body is 17.6cm deep.

In Figured Maple 

In Birds Eye Maple, mother of pearl heart motif with holly inlaid fingerboard decoration, the rose is taken from another Baroque lute as the one on the original was replaced in the 1930's thus not original.

The Widhalm above is has Plum ribs, ebony veneered neck and ebonised maple extended neck, a more simplistic version than the original but cheaper. The instrument can be heared here

The Widhalm above was made with Indian Rosewood ribs can be heard here, it was commissioned as an Electric Baroque lute, with pickup and powerjack as requested, tuned in Guitar tuning rather than standard Dminor Baroque lute tuning to make the transition from guitar to lute easier. It can be heard here played by Dr Dale Harris who needed to keep his nails for playing other instruments so the bridge was made bit higher to accommodate more space under the strings near the rose (more dishing of the soundboard) he has also managed to convert it into a heavy metal lute heard here
The original instrument is shown below

Baroque Lute based on Thomas Edlinger, Prague c1721 (Leipzig No 497)

This is one of the largest baroque lutes with a string length of 77.8 and 82.5cm bass rider basses. The body is similar in feel to a theorbo, and has a flattened back which usually makes it more comfortable to hold. The body is 14.8cm deep. This instrument can be heard here

11 Ribs of Indian Rosewood and boxwood spacers

The original has a pierced pegbox in ivory but this is made out of Black Walnut, it could be made with white Holly wood  commonly used as for an alternative to ivory.

The original instrument is shown below.

Baroque lute based on Johann Christian Hoffmann 1730 (Brussels M3188 and 1559)

The Hoffmann Lutes are the classic Baroque lute shape and depth, a few examples of some made are below. The hoffmann M3188, 1730, below has a string length 71.2 cm and 77, 18 cm deep, the width from the 1st course to the 13th is one of the narrowest of baroque lutes at 14cm . The Hoffmann 11crs  M1559, 1716, has a string length of 71cm, body depth of 18.4cm, and the width from 1st to 11th course is 12.8cm. This instrument can be heard here.

Ribs in Pearwood, ebony veneered neck and pegbox

M3188 13 crs

M 1559 11crs

Ribs in Figured Maple with black dyed boxwood spacers

The triple rose comes from another Baroque lute but most were single as were the original Hoffmans the original design of the M3188 is below. This instrument can be heard here

The original on the instrument is below, cut out a reused from another lute, possibly by Vendelinus Tieffenbrucker.

13 crs baroque lute based on Martin Hoffmann 169(2?) (MI 245)

The forerunner of the above is this Swan Neck baroque lute, string length of 69.7cm with 97.7cm basses. The body is 17.3cm deep. The instrument can be heard here

A deep and resonant body in Indian Rosewood with natural boxwood spacers

Below shows the original instrument:

11 course Swan Neck Baroque lute by M. Hartung c1600 converted to 11crs by J. Zacher Breslau c1691 (MIR 899)

This is a rare 11crs Swan neck lute with a string length of 63.4 and 90.5 basses. Most are not Swan necks but 10crs lutes with an extra little pegbox to hold the extra treble string called the chanterelle. So This may be the earliest 11crs swan neck, it has the shallowest of all baroque lute bodies at 12.2cm making it very comfortable to hold. This instrument is currently in stock for sale (May 2020) £3699 inc Kingham Case. this instrument can be heard here.

Multiribbed back in heart/sapwood yew wood, ebony neck with holly lines and ebonised maple extended neck.

The original instrument is shown below

13 crs (electric) lute/ Angelique based on Frei/Widhalm 


This latest creation is a 13crs swan neck lute based on the comfortable Hans Frei (C34) body and has the extended neck and bridge of the Widhalm (MIR 903). Single strung in Nylgut and CD bases, the bridge has positions for being strung as a double/standard baroque lute or seen here as single with higher tension strings and a 4 point pickup as previously installed with the electric mandora. The bridge also has extra holes to allow stringing as a 16crs angelique too, so 3 instruments for the price of one!

The ribs, neck and extended neck are in figured maple and the extended neck pierced panels in pearwood, pearwood pegs and bridge, with the fingerboard, bridge top and points in bog oak instead of ebony. The soundboard has a ebony edging. Kingham case in wine red exterior and a mink plush interior.

To order £3309 (£2727 + £582)

13crs Baroque lute and Angelique based on Maler/Elg

The original instrument by Jonas Elg of Stockholm 1729 is shown below

This is the latest creation based on the Maler (MI54) body and barring and the extended neck of the "Swedish theorbo" Elg (M220) c.1729. Comfortable and lightweight, powerful and rich basses, the body being shallow and fits the pre-existing case (c14.2 cm  deep) the string length is 70.2/92/107cm can be string as a 13crs as seen or as a 16crs angelique with extra holes in the bridge and groves in the nut. Ribs are in grade two English yew wood, reused/restored Alpine spruce soundboard, bog oak fingerboard, ebonised maple neck and ebonised pearwood extended neck, bridge and endpin, natural pearwood pegs, CD Basses and NNG octaves and fingered courses. The case in a Kingham ex stock black exterior and Green velvet interior. The Maler/Frei Angelique previously made sounded nice so this time the neck was made a triple pegbox, rather modern looking for it's time and thus quicker to make reducing costs but a recent purchase of a triple pegbox by a well respected professional player helped make this the choice for the extended neck, the bases seem as powerful as longer necked italian theorbo.

£2500 (a new case, if required, is £624 to order, )

Hear it being played here

Other Baroque lutes to order:

Laux Maler (Nurenburg MI54) 11 or 13crs, 70 cm. 14.5 cm deep. The remnants of an anonymous 13crs swan neck conversion (possibly Widhalm, like MI619) now in the museum is shown below:

Hans Frei (Vienna KHM C33) 11crs, 70.2, 14 cm deep. Shown below:

The peg box is not original, the ribs appear to be birds eye maple.

Hans Frei (Warwick County Museum No67/1965) String length 69.5cm, 15.8cm deep.

Based on M. Buchenburg (Edinburgh 3249) as seen in the Renaissance lutes (69.2cm),17.3 cm deep.

Leopold Widhalm 1767/ Laux Maler (Nuremberg MI619) 13 crs Swan neck 72.5/97.8cm, 15cm deep.

T.Edlinger, Prague 1728/ M.Dieffopruchar (NMM 10213) Bass rider 13crs, 77.3/82.6, 14.6cm deep. Seen below: 

T.Edlinger, Prague 1724/ Vendelinus Tieffenbrucker (NMM 10214)Bass rider 13 crs 81.7/87, 16.6 cm deep. Seen below:

Joachim Teilke Hamburg 1718 (Berlin No5259) Swan neck 13crs, 73/104.5cm, 17.8 cm deep. Shown below:

J.Tielke, Hamburg 1707 (NMM4003), 11crs originally, 13 crs 74.1/129.5, 17 cm deep, (the existing neck extension is pretty hideous looking so I would suggest an extended neck like the Berlin Tielke.

Vendelinus Venere 1626 (Vienna KHM No 616) 75.7 or 71.7, 16.7cm deep. Seen below:

Warwick Frei (Warwick county museum No67/1965) slightly long deeper 11crs than the C34, 69.5cm, 15.5 cm deep.

W.Eberle (Vienna KHM C47) 75.5cm,16.7 cm deep, 13 crs with a swan or triple extended neck.

M.Harton, Padua 1599 (Bologna Civic Museum No1808) Bass lute conversion  70cm, 17.6cm deep.

S.Schelle (Nurenberg MI574)Large German theorbo string length 88.8/ 163.8, 19.2 cm deep. Seen below:

Hans Hovb Muler (Barcelona MdMB 407)11crs, this 10crs made up from various lutes from the past by maker in the baroque period, the name is likely to be made up too, a nice looking instrument nonetheless, 69.2cm, 16cm deep. Seen below:

Other lutes seen in the Renaissance section can be made as Baroque lutes too.

13 crs student baroque lute based on Hans Frei (C34),  left-handed lute.

A right handed version can be heard here

11 crs student baroque lute based on Hans Frei

this instrument can be heard here. Or listen to it hear being played better than me by Richard Mackenzie

 13 course Buchenburg triple pegbox baroque lute

slight variations on the triple neck, one in Copenhagen (CL104) the right by Brunner 1764  (Prague museum No450E)

13 course Buchenburg (Edinburgh 3249 deep body) with a triple pegbox based on Jauck (Copenhagen CL104) triple rose from the Railich archlute  (MIM1569) Inspired by the Berner CL105 shown here, except the hideous bridge! This was originally an archlute made 2002 with a new neck, pegbox and soundboard. Stringlength 70.3/85.3/97.5 cm in f (a=415Hz) strung with NNG and the new copper loaded CD bases by Aquilla. 19 ribs and neck in Black Walnut, Bog oak fingerboard, ebonised pearwood triple pegbox, Indian rosewood pegs. 14 frets for the bach transcriptions. The instrument can be heard here

To order from

Student Angelique/13 crs Swan-neck Maler Baroque lute

This is a student 16/17crs Angelique/13crs baroque lute in one! Body and barring based on Maler (MI 54) and the swan neck based on the Berlin Tielke (5259). The body of the maker is shallower than the Tielke body and the string length is 70.5/102.5cm which matches other Angeliques. The extra holes in the bridge allows for all 3 stringing combinations, also seen on historical angeliques (see 'The Lute' journal 2010). The body is in English yew, the neck looks like ebony veneer but is the more affordable ebonised maple, soundboard has ebony edging the fingerboard is black bog oak

To order £1796, case £659 ( case £624, strap £10, delivery of case £25)

If this many strings scares you the lute later evolved into a simpler version of a Baroque lute known as the Mandora or Gallichon an original by Kamble is shown below, with a standard lute pegbox with pierced pegbox bottom, other pandoras have 'sickle' shaped pegboxes as made for the student Mandora. There is a wealth of music becoming available via John Bringmans site here 

7/8crs Electric Mandora based on the Frei Body (KHM C34)

This hybrid Mandora brings together the 19th century Electric Mandora made and played by Chris Hirst (hear it here, and here in ensemble and the traditional Mandora as an un-amplified 7/8 crs conversion heared here played by Rod Blocksidge. So it can be played as a 7crs double strung Mandora (tuned d', a, f, C, G, D, C) or restrung to it's current state (tuned e, b, g, d, A, E, D, C). Dare I say it could be tuned as a renaissance lute in e with lute intervals just by tuning down a semitone, so 3 instruments in one potentially. 

Having converted Rod Blocksidges' Mandora from 7 to 8crs single recently (as heared in the link above) I decided to apply this to the 8 crs 19th century mandora I had made for Christ Hirst who uses it for modern ensemble music, hence the amplification. So by drilling the bridge with holes for 7 crs double and 8crs single and a nut that caters for both stringing then it combines the best of both Mandoras and more value for money for the player. Rod tells me the 8 crs can be used to play rare Russian music requiring 8 crs. 

The strings for 7 crs double and 8crs single have been adjusted to have the same overall tension, the neck and sickle pegbox are ebonised to be in keeping with guitars from the same period, and metal frets which worked just as well as gut, the back is in English yew pegs and bridge in Natural pearwood. The Hans Frei body (C34) is a popular choice, not too deep as later baroque lute bodies can be, once plugged in it's certainly loud enough!

£ 1445, case not included in price