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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #1 
This RKS sitar on ebay must be a new model surely?


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BEAUTIFUL-VINTAGE-DOUBLE-GOURD-PROFESSIONAL-SITAR-RADHA-KRISHNA-SHARMA-/271251864637?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instruments&hash=item3f27defc3d

The carving might indicate an older model but the label definitely gives it away does it not?
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barend

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Reply with quote  #2 
not sure about the label. This vintage one has the same kind of label I think:
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/lismore-2480/other-musical-instruments/sitar-professional-radha-krishna-sharma-vilayat-khan-style/1022484361

I looks really good and shiny to be vintage and the double tumba ones I saw all had the white special decorations on the taraf pegs. But if it's an old one it is a good buy. Looks very good anyhow.
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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #3 
The label is different though. This one has "TM' on it for instance

Although it does show that they were using that rks symbol early on at least sometimes.
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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #4 
That could be an 80's model, they basically looked the same from the 80's up until they started using lacquer instead of french polish a few years ago. Many from I think the late 90's up will have a label that says made for Bhargava and co. I always think of RKS as two separate companies the 70's and earlier being the small higher quality shop, and the 80's on up is the more mass produced co. though they can still be quite good mid range sitars and many have broken in very nicely.
Kalyan

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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think the seller has their info on the company and the sitar bit off, this is an instrument from the newer "version" of the company. Though the wood used in the earlier runs can be a bit nicer the construction is almost identical to the newer ones it will however be french polished, and have a horn jewari which will add to the tone. This is a #3 meaning it was the least expensive model, they were using the three carving styles to differentiate between their instruments back then. But still the price could be good if the neck is in good shape and the sound is good.
Kalyan

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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #6 
That is about exactly what I was thinking.

except do you think this one has french polish or laquer? and it just doesn't look old either.

anyone else has some authority on this subject?
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #7 
Saw this earlier this week. Didn't think it was of any real age at all.

Nick
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #8 
It looks like early 80's, I had one exactly the same to every detail in 1982 (I think?). Looks well kept. The ones from the shop when RK was there would be better but the one I had was quite all right. Shellac finish....

Lars

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #9 
Probably bought it in London too. If not then where's the original double gourd box?

N
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Prasanth

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have a 1990 RKS model. There should be a serial number at the top of the neck
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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lars"
It looks like early 80's, I had one exactly the same to every detail in 1982 (I think?). Looks well kept. The ones from the shop when RK was there would be better but the one I had was quite all right. Shellac finish....

Lars
Hi lars, that is the most definitive statement from anyone yet, and surprises me becuase of this:

http://www.ioffer.com/i/sitar-professional-rks-537602601

but ok, I get that it be that old, it raises two questions for me:

1. what do you think of his statements about it being of the older type? It seems to me he is confusing the difference between those made while RK was alive and afterwards when the production and quality changed. I am not challenging that it might be a good sitar in itself, but am concerned that it isn't what he is saying it is, muddying the waters somewhat.

2. for my own information about the RKS I bought second hand here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h37iawpin7d0e1g/0fE1b3IgOv

which I am very happy with by the way , which is more important than any of this detail, still working out the right bridge height and jawari but sounds great already. But how does this fit into the history, it was bought in 1975 according to the owner, who's word i trust. I think of this as being while RK was there. Though it is obvious that there quite a few of these which are so similar as to be of a production line (I know they were hand made and fossesitar has posted some great stories referencing his experiences ). It certainly doesn't have the uniqueness of the one you have posted at Rain City which sold a couple of years back.

As I said i am happy with mine regardless, but I wouldn't want to present it as something it isn't and would like to know where it fits into the history, its pedigree so to speak...some have already posted about this I thought you might know a little more.

thanks
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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #12 
I think that sitar pictured from ioffer is a stock picture from mid east manufacturing (from about 10 years ago,but if you ordered this you would get a new one that has a satin varnish finish with synthetic bridge)), the ebay sitar is basically the exact same sitar from the the more mass produced period that begin some time in the early 1980's it is impossible to put an exact date on from a picture because they all look the same . They do have serial numbers on top of the head stock but they combine numbers and letters and it is not a straight forward code so you would need to know their pattern to be sure from that. I don't see any reason to doubt that sellers claim as to the purchase date, however it seems that people think because the 1980's were a long time ago that it makes them the "old " version but for RKS this is not the case. Your sitar pictured looks more like the 70's Ravi Shankar style RKS sitars I have seen but these can be harder to identify because they are much more individualized, though it strikes me as the real deal.
Kalyan

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Sillofthedoor"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lars"
It looks like early 80's, I had one exactly the same to every detail in 1982 (I think?). Looks well kept. The ones from the shop when RK was there would be better but the one I had was quite all right. Shellac finish....

Lars
Hi lars, that is the most definitive statement from anyone yet, and surprises me becuase of this:

http://www.ioffer.com/i/sitar-professional-rks-537602601

but ok, I get that it be that old, it raises two questions for me:

1. what do you think of his statements about it being of the older type? It seems to me he is confusing the difference between those made while RK was alive and afterwards when the production and quality changed. I am not challenging that it might be a good sitar in itself, but am concerned that it isn't what he is saying it is, muddying the waters somewhat.

2. for my own information about the RKS I bought second hand here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/h37iawpin7d0e1g/0fE1b3IgOv

which I am very happy with by the way , which is more important than any of this detail, still working out the right bridge height and jawari but sounds great already. But how does this fit into the history, it was bought in 1975 according to the owner, who's word i trust. I think of this as being while RK was there. Though it is obvious that there quite a few of these which are so similar as to be of a production line (I know they were hand made and fossesitar has posted some great stories referencing his experiences ). It certainly doesn't have the uniqueness of the one you have posted at Rain City which sold a couple of years back.

As I said i am happy with mine regardless, but I wouldn't want to present it as something it isn't and would like to know where it fits into the history, its pedigree so to speak...some have already posted about this I thought you might know a little more.

thanks
I've had a few of the older RK ones, it's a big difference. They were lighter and had dense penwork, different colors, etc. Your old one I don't know exactly, it could have been a different penwork maker or they changed the pattern as you still see that design even now, anything is possible.... I'm not sure when RK left us, will find out next month though if I remember to ask if I see Rajesh Sharma in Varanasi or you can friend him on FB and ask him as he would probably know. The one I had was just like the ad one I don't know anything more than that but looks just like it. My guess is that at that point they had went to badging up market sitars but were still acceptable....

Lars

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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #14 
Ok thanks for answering lars.
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mahadev

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Reply with quote  #15 
My gut feeling is that this sitar could well be from the 80's , it may have spent most of its life in the box. It obviously has seen little use. I first met Radha Krishna Sharma in 1977. He lived at his family home in Varanasi near Laxmikund. His son ran the workshop in Vivekananda Road in Calcutta where the sitars were built from scratch. RKS himself would get a number of polished bodies at regular intervals from Calcutta and fix the pegs, bridges and strings. He passed away sometime in the 90's. He was a gentleman of the old school .
RKS sitars are bit of a lottery when it comes to sound. Some are great, others are not so great but they were always very well made and fully functional right off the shelf. Generally they were meant for students and are a bit on the lighter side.
His main market were schools and colleges. There must be thousands of them in colleges all over India. RKS made a great contribution by supplying well made instruments at a very reasonable price, that is what he was famous for.

As for labels, very difficult to date an RKS by the label. Until the late 70's he always used the same label. After that there were a number of similar but slightly different labels. The bodies built in his workshop in Calcutta always had a serial number at the top of the neck unless they were fully decorated.

This particular sitar seems a fairly safe bet. It is in very good condition and for 350 UK you can't go wrong. Just check if the neck is straight.
Best of luck !

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