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Don Rickert Musician Shop

Guitar of the Early 19th Century “Romantic” Type

Posted by Don Rickert on

Guitar of the Early 19th Century “Romantic” Type

You will find this new custom instrument by D. Rickert Musical Instruments in the Ibanez 6 string in 1840s format final"Custom Shop" category at the Don Rickert Musician Shop.

Today, people call such a guitar, with its small body, a parlor guitar. In 1825, they were simply called guitars, as this size was the standard size for the time.

Based on a nice non-slotted head parlor guitar by a top Japanese manufacturer

As is the case with all of the instruments in this current group, the guitar is an extremely well-made modern guitar, which is modified to take it back to an authentic earlier form.

The base instrument is highly modified by D. Rickert Musical Instruments and sold through its online store, Don Rickert Musician Shop. These modifications include completely re-carving and re-veneering the head stock, adjusting the truss rod to a "neutral" setting for the lower tension strings you will be using, and fitting the type of tuning pegs you choose so that tuning is a smooth as possible with these period violin type pegs (unless you choose the PegHeds internally geared pegs option…then we properly fit the PegHeds tuners!).

What it replicates

Guitars of the early 19th Century from such notable makers as Levigne, Pons, Locote and Grobert. This guitar is only for finger style playing. If you wish to play with a plectrum, you should consider one of our other custom modified instruments.

Note about playing style

Guitars of this period were designed strictly for finger style (without finger picks) playing. That being said, if you opt for the standard Aquila Nylgut strings rather than upgrading to real gut, a plectrum could be used, despite the fact that “flat picking” on Nylgut strings would be frowned upon by the string maker, Aquila. We know from the experience of a number of our customers that Nylgut withstands the use of a plectrum better than classical guitar strings.

If you DO go with real gut strings, do not even think about using a plectrum, as you will be breaking these expensive strings frequently.

The whole point of a Romantic Period guitar replica is to play it finger style. If you plan to “cheat” and use a plectrum, we recommend that you opt for one of our later period replications, such as:

  • Replica of the Martin 1840s “Spanish Guitar” Type
  • 1850s Martin-Inspired Slotted Head Type Guitar

We Can Even Sell you a Proper fitting Hard Shell Case ($140) GCEV-0F_case-open

The best you are going to do for a small parlor sized guitar like this one is a cloth gig bag. The manufacturer of the base instrument does not even have a proper case for this or similarly sized instruments.

It was not easy, but we found a source for the right case. Keep in mind that our case is a modern hard shell case. If you want a period case, you would commission us or someone else to make an appropriate case.

Key Specifications

  • X bracing
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Solid mahogany back and sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Body binding: synthetic ivory
  • Purfling: herringbone
  • Soundhole rosette: classic mosaic
  • Bone nut and saddle
  • Tuning pegs:
    • Ebony flamenco guitar pegs (same as viola pegs)
    • Peg upgrades:
      • PegHeds internally-geared planetary pegs for flamenco guitar (look just like ebony pegs and cost about $150)


      • Genuine bone (not endangered ivory) flamenco guitar pegs (about $200) 


  • Frets: 18
  • Scale: 24.4”
  • Strings: Aquila Nylgut™ 19th CENTURY ROMANTIC ERA STRINGS-AMBRA 800
  • (Optional) Genuine period gut strings by Gamut ($55)

Neck Dimensions

  • Scale                          620mm (24.4”)
  • Width at Nut               42mm
  • Width at 14th Fret      54mm
  • Thickness at 1st         20mm
  • Thickness at 7th         21mm
  • Radius                        250mmR

Body Dimensions

  • Length                           18 1/4"
  • Lower Bout Width          12"
  • Max Depth                     3 3/4"

Images of Actual Period Guitars

Petit_jean_1870_01 19th Century parlor guitar Lavigne_Headstock_top Crane_gut

  • D. Rickert
  • Don Rickert Musician Shop
  • early 19th century
  • guitar
  • gut strings
  • Musical Instruments
  • parlor guitar
  • replica
  • Romantic Period