The 12 important landmarks
For genuine Anastasios Stathopoulos bouzoukia!
In regards to a request from a blog follower, asking for a simple way in which someone can identify how close to its original State, a genuine A. Stathopoulos bouzouki has been kept, I decided to create a simple guide showcasing the 12 most important ( in my opinion) landmarks.
1.- A. Stathopoulos bouzoukia were carrying 8 Mandolin A type tuners
2.- At the back of the neck (where neck connects to the head stock) the neck was creating a V shape extension into the head stock
The neck usually was made by 3 laminate( kontres) of wood, but also sometimes by a solid one piece of wood.
3.- The first fret marker was at the second fret and not at the third as we usually see on modern bouzouki instruments
4.- Stathopoulos bouzoukia were really meso-bouzouka, as their scale was much shorter than modern bouzoukia
5.-At the back of the neck and the bowl, the " xelidoni" connection was not straight , creating a bevel ( small oblique angle)
6.-Stathopoulos bouzoukia were carrying a round sound-hole, which had been decorated with a wooden carved rosette
7.-They had a symmetrical centered pick guard , usually made by tortoise shell or dark natural wood
8.-Inside their bowl, someone could identify luthier's ,very hard to remove, label . Depending from what year the instrument was made, we see different labels, having luthier's name ( A. Stathopoulos) or company's name (House of Stathopoulo)
9.-Stathopoulos bouzoukia were not three course neither four course instruments, rather multi course instruments custom designed for the needs of their users. Their tuning may had been a three course bouzouki tuning (still under research), but carrying more strings usually at the first place (kantinia) and the last (mourgkanes). The original bridge had usually more than 3 pairs of grooves. In the expensive models, the bridge was made by bone, where at cheaper ones from metal.
10.-Their bowl usually was made by curly maple, Brazilian rosewood, or the combination of the two.
11.-Stathopoulos bouzoukia (most of them) carried a A.Stathopoulos New York, circled stamp, placed at the lower middle part of the sound board , between the bridge and the tailpiece.
12.- Finally, these bouzouki instruments had the characteristic soundboard step, we are usually see on Neapolitan mandolins