The Lute Society: Hire Lutes

 

Lutes available for hire

The Lute Society maintains a fleet of hire instruments (currently 56 lutes and other instruments), for the use of:

  1. prospective beginners wanting to try the lute before deciding to buy their own;
  2. any player who wants to try one of the rarer types of lute;
  3. attendees at playing days who need a stock of bass lutes, treble lutes, etc.

Most of the instruments are held at the premises of Bridgewood and Neitzert of Stoke Newington, London www.londonviolins.com/ and prospective hirers are warmly encouraged to go and see, try, collect and return lutes in person - though instruments can be couriered to those who cannot make the trip to London.

Beginners who are not sure what they want are welcome to bring their teacher, or invite a representative of the Lute Society to help them choose a lute.

The hire charge, unless otherwise stated on the inventory below, is 32 per month, and the hirer is asked to pay carriage - so for many UK residents it will be cheaper as well as safer to collect and return the lute in person. Please note that LARGER INSTRUMENTS are disproportionately expensive to courier and it will often be cheaper to travel in person even a long distance to London to collect or drop off a long-necked lute.

Please direct initial enquiries to the Secretary of the Lute Society, who maintains the waiting list.

Please note, you must be a member of the lute society to hire most of these lutes. This does not apply to the "theatrical" lutes; theatrical companies may be restricted to the sturdier instruments, however, unless a designated professional musician in the company takes responsibility for a hire instrument. Theatrical hire companies are requested to include an acknowledgement in printed programmes if possible: 'Lute supplied by The Lute Society, www.Lutesociety.org'

We regret that because of the very high risk of loss or damage when lutes are sent by air freight, OVERSEAS MEMBERS can hire lutes ONLY if they can guarantee to both collect and return hire instruments travelling overland (using the Channel tunnel) or by sea ferry.

Some of these instruments are on long term loan to the society.

Insurance: The Lute Society carries its own risk for damage and loss, but hirers are requested to contact their household insurer to ask if the instrument can be listed on their policy for the duration of hire (to a value we advise); if this is not possible the hire may still proceed but the hirer should be especially careful. When the instrument is returned we will advise of the value it should be insured to with our preferred courier, if it is really not possible to bring the lute back in person.

Grading and photographs: we are currently in the process of grading and photographing all the instruments.

  • Grade A: fit to be played in a public concert
  • Grade B: generally non-new instruments but of fair quality
  • Grade C: generally heavily-built, guitar-influenced, less historically-informed lutes, built before the 1980s, and available at reduced price.

PLEASE NOTE that if one of the 'Grade A' instruments on the list is not available, you may hire one of the more basic 'Grade B' or Grade 'C instruments' without losing your place on the waiting list for a best quality instrument.

Rules of the hire scheme

Hirers agree that they are responsible for the care and condition of the hired instrument, and in particular undertake that:

a] the instrument should not be left against a radiator or in prolonged direct sunlight,

b] the instrument must not under any circumstances be left in an unattended motor vehicle, since this voids theft insurance,

c] the instrument may not be transported by air, because of the danger that check-in staff might refuse it to be carried as hand luggage and require it to be put in the hold,

d] the hirer will not change the tuning of the instrument, and especially not raise the pitch of the strings, without consulting Bridgewood and Neitzert about selective restringing,

e] the hirer will promptly inform Bridgewood and Neitzert of any accidental damage, so that Bridgewood and Neitzert can either carry out repairs or designate another professional luthier to carry out repairs, in consultation with the Lute Society,

f] the hirer will consult Bridgewood and Neitzert about replacement of strings which break during hire, or any other restringing; within reason the Lute Society will supply and bear the cost of replacement strings.

g] If collection or return of the instrument is by courier, this must be with a courier agreed with Bridgewood and Neitzert, and insured to an agreed value.

Instrument list

no. 1: 6 course lute in G, 59.8 cm by Martin Haycock (1983) grade: Aon hire

no. 2: 6 course lute in G, 60.5 cm, by David van Edwards summer school (1999) grade: Aon hire 

no. 3: 7 course lute in G, 59 cm, by David van Edwards (1978), grade Aon hire

no. 4: 7 course lute in F# (G at 415), 63.5 cm, by Stephen Gottlieb (1998), grade: Aon hire

no. 5: 8 course lute in G, 63cm, by Paul Hunt (1979), grade: Bon hire

no. 6: 7 course lute in G, by John Gorrett, grade: Aon hire

no. 7: 7 course lute in G, 60cm, by Chris Allen, grade: Bon hire

no. 8: 8 course lute in G, 58.2cm, by Stephen Barber and Sandi Harris (1998) grade: Aon hire

no. 9: 8 course lute in G, 62.6 cm, by Anthony Campbell (1977) grade: Bunder maintenance

no. 10: 10 course lute in G, 63cm, by J Karoubi, grade: Bavailable

no. 11: 11 course D minor baroque lute (at baroque pitch), 68cm, by David van Edwards summer school (2003), grade: Aon hire

no. 12: 13 course D minor baroque lute, 71.5/100 cm by David van Edwards summer school (2000), grade: Aavailable

no. 13: 7 course lute in F, by David van Edwards summer school (2005)available

no. 14: 6 course bass lute in D, 76cm, by David van Edwards summer school (2002), grade: Aavailable

no. 15: 8 course bass lute in D, 76cm, by Philip Macleod Coupe (1973), grade: Bavailable

no. 16: theorbo in A [at 415], 82/166.5 cm, by David van Edwards summer school (2001), grade: Aavailable

no. 17: 14 course 'liuto attiorbato' or archlute [in G], 64.5 / 91.5 cm by David van Edwards summer school (2006) grade: Aon hire

no. 18: 5 course mediaeval lute [in G], 58.5 cm by David van Edwards summer school (2008), grade: Aavailable

no. 19: 4 course mediaeval gittern in C, 44.5cm, by David van Edwards summer school (2008) Grade: Aavailable

no. 20: 6 course mandora in d', 72 cm, by David van Edwards summer school (2007), grade: Aavailable

no. 21: 4 course renaissance guitar in A, 55cm, by Neil Morrison (1980), grade: Aavailable

no. 22: 7 course lute in G, 59 cm, by John Gorrett, made for Early Music Shop (undated, marked 'no. 102'), suitable for theatrical hire, grade: Bon hire

no. 23: 6 course lute in G, 62 cm, suitable for theatrical hire, grade: C, 20 per month onlyon hire

no. 24: 8 course guitar lute in G, by Guitarra Estruch of Spain (1968), 61 cm, grade C: 20 per month only, suitable for theatrical hireunder repair

no. 25: 4 course carved-from-solid cittern in E, 42.5 cm, by John Pringle (1976) grade: C, very basic instrument, 10 per month onlyunder repair 

no. 26: 7 course treble lute currently in C but could be restrung in D, 43.5 cm, by Mark Butler (1980), grade: Aavailable

no. 27: 7 course treble lute in C, (currently restrung in G) 51 cm, by Mark Butler (1977), grade: Bavailable

no. 28: 4 course guitar in A, 55 cm, by Robert Rivie (1982), grade: Aavailable

no. 29: 7 course lute in F, 66 cm, by Mark Butler (1981)lost believed stolen, please contact us if you come across a lute of this description.lost believed stolen 

no. 30: 10 course lute in E, 72 cm, by Mark Butler (1978) grade: Aon hire

no. 31: 10 course bass lute in C, 89 cm, by Mark Butler (1981), grade: Aavailable

no. 32: 7 course bandora in A, 71/76cm by Lyn Elder (1977), grade: Aavailable

no. 33: 6 course cittern in E, 47 cm, by David Madigan (1975), grade: Aavailable

no. 34: 6 course vihuela in A, 54 cm, by Robert Rivie (1984), grade: Aon hire

no. 35: wooden tenor flute in D, by Phil Levin, grade: Aavailable

no. 36: wooden descant flute in D, by Phil Levin, grade: Aavailable

no. 37: 7 course plastic-backed Progress lute, grade: Cunavailable 

no. 38: 6 course single strung, 'Wandervogel' guitar-lute,60.5cm, (1920s?) in E, grade: C, suitable for theatrical hire as a working stage prop, this is in normal guitar tuning and stringing, and would suit an actor who wanted to play something familiar but which is lute-shaped, 20 per month onlyunder repair

no. 39: 6 course lute in G, 60cm, by Bruce Brook (1997), grade A on hire 

no. 40: 7 course Harwood and Isaacs kit lute, 61 cm, built by Alan Hoyle, grade: C, 20 per month onlyunder repair

no. 41: 8 course lute in F, 63cm, by Eric Mcleod (1981), refurbished by Luke Emmet (2011)on hire

no. 42: 6 course student lute by Barber and Harris, 60cm (2002), grade A on hire

no. 43: 8 course lute, 62cm, by Stephen Gottlieb (1972)on hire 

no. 44: 12 course double-headed lute by David van Edwards summer school (2010), 673, 720, 780, 850, 938 mm, currently in French flat tuning but can be retuned to baroque D minor at A=392 (i.e. C minor at modern pitch), grade Aon hire

no. 45: Triple-headed 13 course baroque lute in D minor, tuned at baroque pitch, 720, 885, and 1010 mm, by David van Edwards summer school after Jauck (2011), grade: Aon hire

no. 46: 6 course lute in G [A=440], 56cm, by Eric Franklin (2011) with short scale length - intended for children, grade: Bavailable

no. 47: 7 course lute in G, 58cm, by Mark Butler (1978), grade: A on hire

no. 48: 7 course lute in G, 60cm, by James Marriage (2011), grade: Aon hire

no. 49: 7 course lute in G, 58 cm, plastic-backed 'Progress lute' (1970s or 1980s), grade C: 20 per month only, suitable for theatrical hire (sounds fine, looks fine from a distance)on hire

no. 50: 7 course lute in G, 61cm, by Charles Ford (1980) grade Bon hire

no. 51: 5 course baroque guitar in E, 64cm, by Los Utrera, Tacho y Wendy (2001), grade B on hire

no. 52: 8 course lute in G, 63.5cm, by Harwood and Isaacs (1967, no. 67), grade Bunder repair

no. 53: 13c baroque lute, single treble rider, 77cm (two bass riders 70.5cm) by Alan Clark (2003), grade Bon hire

no. 54: 6 course lute, 50 cm in G, (could be restrung in C) by Mid East Mfg co, converted to 6c lute by David van Edwards (2011), intended for use by children, grade Bavailable

no. 55: 8 course lute, 60 cm in G, by Ian Harwood 'no. 13' (1959), grade Bavailable

no. 56: 7 course Harwood and Isaacs kit lute, grade Bawaiting case

no. 57: 7 course lute, 50 cm in G intended for children, by Mid East Mfg Co (2011), grade Bunder reconstruction

no. 58: 8 course 60cm G lute by Mid East Mfg Co (2011), grade Bavailable

no. 59: 7 course, 59cm in G by James Cole (1994) grade Aon hire

no. 60: 7 course, 50 cm, in G intended for children, by Mid East Mfg Co (2011), grade B awaiting case

no. 61: 6 course, 50 cm, in G intended for children, by Mid East Mfg Co (2011), grade B awaiting case

no. 62: 7 course, 59 cm, in G, by Martin Haycock (1999, no. 95), grade Aon hire

no. 63: 6 course bass lute in D, 71 cm, by John Duncalf (1976), grade B available

no. 64: 7 course treble lute, currently in G, 55cm, intended for children, by James Malt (2013) grade Aon hire

no. 65: 7 course lute, 61 cm, Harwood and Isaacs kit lute built by Dr Lionel Kremerunder maintenance 

no. 66: 14 course chitarrone, single strung in gut at baroque pitch, 6 + 8, 84 cm /153.5 cm, by Martin Bowers (1980), grade Aunder repair 

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