Benoit discovered what must surely be the first modern version of a c.1810 Harp-Lute, built 200 years later by Japanese luthier Maruyama Toshihito. Intriguing!
Splitting that 200 years in about half takes us to 1898 when this well-made American version of a lyre guitar was built by newly discovered maker, F. Gaulke.
A couple of different folks pointed this out to me. It recently appeared on Antiques Roadshow, evaluated by Gryphon Instruments’ Richard Johnston.
Mugwumps’ Michael Holmes tells me “What is interesting is that the maker, Frank Gaulke from LaCrosse, WI only seems to have worked for one more year because I have a newspaper account that his shop was destroyed by fire in May 1899 and a search of the City Directories shows him as a Musical Instrument manufacturer until the fire, but as working for a wood distributor thereafter. I suppose he could have continued making instruments on a small scale, but I don’t know.”