The first bouzouki workshop

The luthier of Makriyanni's tamboura!
Traditional Greek costume of 19th century:Created with 3D software by SDimis
From an article of Nikos Politis' (researcher of Greek traditional and rebetiko music) blog, in the Rebetiko forum we collect the following information:

"The bouzouki was apparently not particularly well-known among the refugees from Asia Minor, but had been known by that name in Greece since at least 1835, from which year a drawing by the Danish artist Martin Roerbye has survived.
It is a view of the workshop of the Athens luthier Leonidas Gailas from Chios, whom the artist describes as "fabriccatore di bossuchi"(-bouzouki). The drawing clearly shows guitars, tambourades, lyres and a number of bouzouki-like instruments.Between other tools we can identify a precise compass tool for the design of instruments' bowl.

At the National Historical Museum of Athens is been exposed a "tambouras", which belonged to the General of the Greek army Makriyannis (1797–1864). In 1994 this instrument been given to the traditional luthier Niko Fronimopoulo for repair and restoration. A few years later Nikos Fronimopoulos discovered the obvious similarities between Makriyannis tamboura and the instruments at the workshop of Gailas, portrayed at Martin Roerbye's drawing.
After a small research on the soundboard of Makriyanni's instrument and inside the decoration of the rosette, Nikos Fronimopoulos was able to find the initials L. G. (Leonidas Gailas)."


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