I’m surprised that none of my early romantic guitar correspondents have said anything about this one. I’m certainly no expert (and on this topic have yet to see much consensus among the many “experts” anyway), but this seems to me the oldest extant Heptacorde at the moment. It’s been for sale for some time now at Jean Michel Renard’s website. (UPDATE: Now offline)
As it happens, I’m hoping to go see him (and all those marvelous available instruments) in a couple weeks during my very first trip to France. He’s a ways out in the country, and I’m not sure I’ll find the time, and I know I’ll get lost (but that’s all part of the adventure, right?), but I’ll try. Especially to learn more about this instrument.
In any event, I realized I hadn’t added this specimen – or the other 2 new Lacote discoveries I blogged about last year – to the ongoing Lacote study, so just did so. I have to admit that for a complete non-expert, that page is pretty darn impressive. I just wish the Marlats would finish their book (or whatever they have planned) and address all these diverse specimens. (UPDATE: Bruno Marlat has passed away in 2019, his wife hopes to finish their work someday).
Then maybe I’ll learn something from all this!
PS: For anyone understandably particular about my crude English lettering, feel free to read the last half of my blog Of Umlauts and Other Aggravating Letter Symbols, with a Little Nomenclature Confusion Thrown in While I’m at it