The Bluesbox Collection
This instrument is not so much a fine guitar as it is an exquisite piece of folk-art. My understanding is that this luthier also made some violins, and perhaps they were better instruments then this guitar. It is undeniably well made, but the tone and projection are sub-standard due to the thickness of the wood used to make the box. This close-up of the cedar face shows the care that was taken in the ornamentation. The inlays around the sound hole, and on the fingerboard are excellent, if a bit crude. The fingerboard is bound with mahogany in a rather strange way - the top edge of the binding sits level with the top of the frets, creating a kind of trough. The fingerboard itself is some kind of burlwood, which is also used to face the handmade tailpiece. The bridge, seen in this shot, is made from the same mahogany as the back and neck. The neck has a "V" profile and is a bit on the chunky side. It tapers from being overly deep near the heel to a little more normal depth at the headstock. The peg head is unfaced, but is made from such fine wood that it doesn't need to be. The nut is mahagony. The tuners are typical of the period, made from solid brass. The shot, looking down through the sound hole shows the handwritten label which reads, "Made by Wilfred E. Drake - Hewlett, Minn 1894".