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lasermama

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all,

David suggested some of you might be able to help me. My husband and I inherited a sitar from a very dear friend of ours and we're trying to find out things like who might have made it, when it was made, etc. We have searched pictures on the web and can't find anything that has the same embellishments. Could everyone please look at the pictures and give us a clue about it?

Thanks much,
Paula (and Marc) 20180129_142122.jpg  20180129_142154.jpg  20180129_142240.jpg  20180129_142254.jpg  20180129_142222.jpg  20180129_142227.jpg  20180129_142308.jpg

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
It's a generic sitar, no specific maker. Guess is sometime in the 60's and probably from craftsmen in Calcutta. Most sitar makers don't make the whole instrument and others make the structures and carving and make others with no labels to sell in the market. The decoration on the tabli looks like it was added later and glued on the top which is why you don't see any like it, those 2 birds are normally inlaid inside the wood.

Lars

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lasermama

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks, Lars. What is your opinion about the ivory curls that go from the neck to the birds? We weren't able to find any like that. Does that provide any clues as to origin?
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
The birds look like they were cut out of another sitar with the wood still on them to me. Hard to tell exactly by the pictures but it's clean enough, one of them looks faded from heat from the cord for pickup. As for the curling piece it doesn't look like ivory, maybe it's another type of inlay material. Maybe someone else knows and can chime in here, I've never seen penworked birds done this way in India, I would 'guess' it was done somewhere else. With the age and the big bubble tabli could be a fun loud open sound on it if fitted nicely.

Lars

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lasermama

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Reply with quote  #5 
The damaged bird is simply part of the carving is missing. We're not totally sure the curls are ivory....agree it could be something else, maybe some other kind of bone (or maybe even plastic, though it doesn't really feel like that....we used to be jewelers and dealt with some of these materials).
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chrisnovice

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Reply with quote  #6 
My sitar has similar decoration on the tabli (which is plastic or celluloid by the way). The consensus is that it is a basic, no name 1960s instrument. The little flowers on the end of the palti are also an indication of its age. I think they stopped using those in the late 60s or early 70s. Even though it is a basic instrument it is probably nicer than some of the sitars that are being made now.

Mine:
oie_215553ON70posF.jpg 
And I've seen a few others with similar decoration:
oie_215830TCfTierW.png 
Chaitsingh.jpg 
eBay sitar 3.jpg 
vintage ebay 3.jpg 


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lasermama

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the input, Chris.
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katyrow

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Reply with quote  #8 
The first sitar that I ever owned was very similar to these.  The scale length was too short for my frame so I eventually gave it to a friend who was interested in learning.  I always assumed that the appliques were made of Bakelite or Catalin.
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katyrow

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Posts: 224
Reply with quote  #9 
My friend was nice enough to send photos of my old one.  The birds are inlaid, but most of the tabli decoration is applique, like the others here.

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