Politis, 1951

1951 Alexandros Politis, New York (currently owned by David Murray, Oakland, California)

Scale Length: 645 mm

Nut Width: 31mm

12th Fret Width: 38 mm

Body Width: 245 mm

Body Length: 355 mm

Body Depth: 150 mm

Original String setup: 8, converted to 6

This bouzouki is a bit of a mystery, hopefully someone can help solve.

The label inside said “867 Forest Ave. New York, NY. 1951”. The maker’s name was handwritten but seems to say “Alexandros Politis” followed by “Professional Violin Maker”. If anyone has heard of a New York luthier with a name that might match, please let me know!

It’s hard to believe that this was built in 1951 as this type of instrument had been out of style for at least 20 or more years. I like to speculate that Politis did some repairs or modifications to an older bouzouki in 1951. We’ll probably never know!

When I got the instrument it was set up for 8 strings, I’m not sure if that was original or if it had been modified. Paul Hostetter (Santa Cruz, Ca) built a new bridge, nut and installed new tuners (and was kind enough to disassemble them and soak in ferric acid to make them look older!) and made some other repairs and adjustments….it sounds great!


Full back

Full front


Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Alexander Politis was my great grandfather. He made mandolins, bouzoukis, violins and maybe more instruments in New York. He immigrated from Chios, Greece. I do not know a lot about him, but he also composed some music including ‘The Boat Song’ (ena karavi apo ti Xio) Hopefully this gives you a bit more information!

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