13 course lute after Sebastian Schelle,
70 cm to main pegbox, 94.8 cm to swan neck extension
Based on the Schelle lute of 1727 in Paris, this is an excellent 13c model - comfortable to
play, with a firm and even tone. It has 9 ribs in rosewood with holly spacers, ebony veneers,
and an ebony lining around the soundboard. I make this model either with a bent-back
pegbox with chanterelle and bass riders (as in the original), or with a 'swan neck'
extension after Leopold Widhalm. In either configuration, this lute is well-balanced and
comfortable to play; the fingerboard is curved to about 5mm at the nut end, and the back of
the neck is flattened to give a very comfortable and 'quick' feel.
The sound of this lute is characterized by an evenness of response across the stringband,
excellent projection, and a beautifully free chanterelle all the way up the neck.
Sound file of Robert Barto playing this lute (with the swan neck extension) at the LSA
Workshop West in Vancouver, August 2011.
Travis Carey, Luthier
207-8696 Barnard Street
Vancouver, BC V6P 5G5