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Here is a Lyon & Healy parlour or parlor guitar made around late 1800’s, 1900? If you can help with dating it, please let me know. I have just been informed it may be early 1926. See questions below.

Q:  Hi from Paris, The serial number places your guitar in early 1926. Although it is possible that the back is solid, sides are for sure laminated like all L&H of this period. This was made to strengthen the body, and at the time it was not a way to cut costs… It is not braced for modern steel strings so I would recommand Thomastik rope core or spectrum extra light. They will save the top and provide the perfect vintage sound of these instruments. I personally own a L&H of the same year with a bigger body but not in such a good shape and a 1912 Washburn. Good luck Jeff  
A:  Hi Jeff, many thanks for your input. I thought the ink stamp is a model or style number. Also the ‘upside down’ tuner cogs date it earlier. I think they probably are original. Although they work fine, why keep them if they aren’t? Of course i may be totally wrong, you obviously have more experience of these than me. My knowledge of L&H guitars is limited, after all, they don’t turn up everyday! I’ll leave string choice to the new owner.

Originally it had a tailpiece & floating bridge, now it has a fixed bridge of the appropriate style. You can see the filled screwholes in the bottom where the tailpiece used to be.

The brand in the back strip states “MADE BY LYON & HEALY CHICAGO ILL. USA”. There is an ink stamp inside on the top block, 274-7. It has a bone nut & saddle, 5 bone bridge pins, the other being plastic. The neck is perfectly straight with no fret or fingerboard wear. It has the classic V profile. 

The bracing for the top is very minimal, one above the soundhole, one slightly diagonal below the soundhole, and a bridge brace that runs the whole width across. This gives it a large free area for producing that all important element, TONE.

It is very light and resonant.

Solid mahogany back and sides, solid spruce top, ebony finger board and bridge.

In all, a fantastic playing guitar, which has been restored with no expense spared.


Length = 37″ (940mm).

Width at lower bout = 12 3/4″ (324mm).

Upper bout = 9 1/4″ (235mm).

Body depth at bottom = 4 1/8″ (105mm).

Body depth at heel = 3 1/4″ (83mm). 

Width at nut = 1 3/4″ (45mm).

Scale length = 20 1/4″ (515mm).

Weight = 1.4kg.