Lute guitar by Kopeliades 1956


This rare instrument was found in a loft where it had been forgotten for years. It belonged to the grandfather of the current owner, Nikolaos Batoulis, who was a professional musician in Troezen-Argolis. The lute guitar was probably bought from the island of Hydra where Kopeliadis had his workshop and the grandfather often went there to work as a musician. In a shindig where his grandfather played, some regulars unintentionally caused serious damage to the orchestras instruments. This was the end of the guitar, which after some unsuccessful repair attempts was finally forgotten in the grandfather’s attic.
In order to revitalize the lute guitar we needed to disassemble and repair the instrument piece by piece. We decided together with the current owner of the instrument, that for the repair we should only use materials that were available at the time the instrument was built. We also decided not to retouch the parts that where repaired, but to let them stay visible.




A brief history of the repair

The disassembly begins. First we need to remove the back
The guitar is broken across the whole perimeter where the wood is very thin due to the purflings. It had been badly repaired in the past and a big piece of wood had been glued to the block of the neck for no substantial reason.
The signature of the luthier! dated "20.09.57"
We now remove the saddle ...
...then the neck and finally the braces that are already coming off.
After giving the soundboard a good clean, we will re glue the authentic braces on again as well as the supportive wooden ring for the sound hole.
Gluing the braces and the supportive wooden ring in place... well as the spruce patches under the soundboard cracks.
It is now time to glue the perimetrical supports for the soundboard.
Strong like new!
The back bracing had also become unstuck so we also need to glue them in place.
The back bracing is now ready.
Gluing the neck in place.
We seal the cracks with thin strips of spruce wood and add bits of wood where needed. The instrument is now ready for more detailed repair.
Since the back is in place, we start repairing the rosette.
We gradually glue bits of veneer and wood where needed.
Now plane...
In the same frame of work we continue with the bindings all round the guitar...
We replace the missing pieces.
Now glue the saddle into place.
We design a template in order to create a new Indian rosewood pick guard.
The new pick guard is ready.
Give it a French polish finish...
...and glue the pick guard into position.
It's time to glue the missing partial frets of wood onto the soundboard...
...and tie the nylon strings around the neck at the appropriate fret spacing. The lute guitar is now ready for stringing.
It was worth it!