Category Archives: History

A special parlor: The Grunewald “Harp-Guitar”

One of the perks of guitar making are the special guitars that sometimes pass the shop. And being a somewhat quirky person I somehow manage get some of the oddest pieces of guitar history. Like this 10-string “Harp-Guitar” made by … Continue reading

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King David and his pretty little lyres

When researching the old European lyres there are two pictures that always keep surfacing: The Vespasian Lyre Probably the most famous is the one of King David in the Vespasian Psalter (Southern England, 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 8th … Continue reading

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We have a theorbo!

Work continues on Jannemieke’s Sellas theorbo. We’re very close to completion… The bracing glued and shaped Time to close the box… Installing the fingerboard points… And time to attach the neck extention… The instrument is finally at its full length. … Continue reading

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A chained library

During the weekends at the Batavia shipyard Paper Unicorn’s bookbinder Astrid spoke about the idea of making a portable chained library. For many people this is one of the first things they think about when the subject of medieval books … Continue reading

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A 17th century “Dutch Plane” – (free plans!)

In 1628 the Swedish warship Vasa set out for its maiden voyage. With 64 canons on 2 decks it was the pride of the Swedish marine. But this was shortlived; after only one mile she keeled over, water poored trough … Continue reading

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Renaissance chisels

It’s virtually impossible to make a 100% accurate re-enactment kit. Especially on a low budget. Sandra and I decided to start with a basic set and improve it over time. Replace, add and remove materials, clothes, cutlery, tools and accessories. … Continue reading

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Building instruments live at the Batavia shipyard…

Last weekend my re-enactment season for 2018 started. Along with the bookbinder of “The Paper Unicorn” we’ve been asked to show our crafts at the Batavia Shipyard in Lelystad. The first day we stood at the museum, but we moved … Continue reading

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Stradivarius guitar plans

You probably know the name Stradivari as the most famous violin maker that ever lived. But it is lesser known that the great master also made guitars. Only five guitars survived to this day, in museums and private collections around … Continue reading

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Carving along…

As you know I am always on the lookout for inspiration. This can literally be found anywhere: nature, books, movies, etc. But works by other craftsmen and -women often prove to be the best examples. Like this “Boerenwagen” (Farmers-wagon) encountered … Continue reading

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The Dollhouses of Death (that changed forensic science).

Ok, I already liked dollhouses and dioramas, but this is a whole other league… In the fourties Frances Glessner Lee built dollhouses replicating crime scenes. These instruments were used for training of forensic scientists and police. And now – 70 … Continue reading

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