Rare Pre-War forerunner of the later Harmony Stella parlors, Great Character, Blues Tone & Volume - Ready to go "In the Workshop" for restoration, and now "pre-ordered"!
Preliminary Listing - Photos are of this guitar, prior to commencement of restoration.

Update - 12/07/2020 - Pre-ordered for a customer in East Sussex.

The "VTG Restorations pages above for "Wartime" and "Bridging WW11 Years" Stellas, show the continuation in the post-war Stellas basic design & construction of the similar Harmony models of the 1930s, of which this H1030 is typical, into the long-running Stella H929, in continuous production by Harmony, in Chicago, from 1945 to 1970, without any major changes, and the many & various versions, both Stella & other branded models, all cosmetic variations of the one base design/construction.

What this illustrates is the direct line in the production of these guitars, progressing from the many Parlor models Harmony produced in the 1930s (a selection of which I can offer on the separate page devoted to 1930s & '40s Harmony parlors), from which the dimensions & ladder-braced, all solid Birch construction was transitioned into the post-war Stellas which Harmony produced after they acquired the Stella name, following the collapse of the Oscar Schmidt company around 1939/40.

In particular, check out the images and compare this pre-war Harmony H1030, and the virtually identical post-war Stella H930.

I regularly "pre-sell" my guitars, at the stage where I am still working on them, or indeed before commencing the restoration. This arrangement has now worked well in very many cases over the years, and I welcome further enquiries.
Stock Number: VTG1340.

I have sold many 1940s, '50s and '60s Harmony-made Stella guitars over the years, in their many variations of the same basic model.....quite a few of them are included in the models currently ready to "pre-order" & restore, on this and adjoining pages.

Set up for either Fingerstyle Blues or Bottleneck playing, or mixture of both - these are superb sounding parlor blues guitars, with great looks, lots of vibe and historic All-American character - all original condition - an iconic Chicago made, 12 fret-to-the-body, parlor Blues Guitar - all solid Birch, ladder braced construction, and on this model, a typical 1930s soft "V" profile neck!

The very brief information on the Harmony Guitars Database page on this model is not useful, as the only photos are of a tenor version with a wartime wooden tailpiece, indicating later production into the '40s, and 6-string versions with either Idento tailpiece or Crystalline fingerboard, neither of which this guitar has, and no photos!.
The guitar is essentially original condition....finish & colour in my view as good as you are likely to find on a guitar of this type, at over 80 years old - inevitably there is a little edge wear to the painted bindings and other edges and minor surface chips/ the main, really the minimum for one of this type and age. I hope that you will agree that the photos show that this remains handsome & characterful vintage guitar.

In this particular case, the only omissions are the missing original bridge, bridge pins & endpin. The bridge shown is a previous attempted & incomplete replacement it came with, but we will purpose-make & fit a new bridge, with either original wooden pins, or new replacement Ebony pins.

Following general restoration notes, will be replaced with specific details once the guitar has been fully inspected....

All the guitars are inspected in conjunction with the professional luthier I work with, in order to determine the schedule of restoration works required, whether it may include a neck reset or the need to re-level the fingerboard, on which if we cannot avoid losing the painted position markings, we do have stencils in order to replace them, or alternatives to install dot markers, etc. to retain the character of guitar as much as possible. Major jobs are carried out in the luthier's workshop, and the whole restoration completed under his supervision.

The original tuners & tailpieces do generally show some typical age-related discolouration but, in the main they work fine, and are retained wherever possible, but if that is not practicable there are good options for repro parts or I do have a stock of original parts to call on. Original wooden floating bridges, wooden or very good original hard plastic nuts, are re-used whenever possible, but if not practicable replacements are individually purpose-made in Ebony or Bone.
Action, strings & cases
Following restoration/repair works, on completion of the set-up adjustments we will be looking for an action of around 3mm. at the 12th. fret, which I reckon that is ideal for a Stella "all-rounder", good for Bottleneck play, but with fretting aided by the shorter scale length and consequent lower string tension, therefore ideal for a mixture of finger-style and bottleneck play. Within reason it can be a degree higher or lower to suit individual requirements.

Additionally these guitars could also be used for full-time slide with a nut riser costing no more than a few pounds. The sound is typically loud and pokey, just as a Stella should be - a great Bluesy voice! It has "That Sound" in spades - even, woody, bright, clear, ringing tone! They are usually strung with Martin Bronze Light or Martin Retro Monel Light gauge 12-54 strings, and really sound tremendous - and loud!

There is no case (although the guitar will be well packed and securely boxed for posting), but I do have the odd period case, and may be able to supply one of the type these guitars originally came in, or alternatively I may be able to supply it with a virtually unused Hiscox Liteflite hardshell case. These cases of course do offer much better protection, but even the smallest case produced by Hiscox does require a somee of their extra internal pads fitting, in order to hold the small guitar correctly. I will be happy to advise whether I can marry the guitar to a suitable case, at the time of purchase, and if so agree with you an inclusive price for Guitar + Case.
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**** DIMENSIONS ****

Sometimes these guitars are mistakenly described as three-quarter size - there is a three-quarter size version of the Stella H929 model (one of which I have in the workshop at present) which is much smaller, this being the full size model with standard Stella dimensions:-

Overall length - 36.25"/96cm., body width lower bout - 13.25"/33.5cm., upper bout - 9.5"/24.2cm., body length - 17.8"/45.2cm., body depth front - 3.25"/8.2cm., rear - 3.7"/9.3cm, with standard Stella/Harmony nut width of 1.75"/44.5mm. - just a tad wider than most modern acoustics - and a 24.25"/615mm scale.

......the "Blueprint" for the post-war Harmony Stellas, including H927/H928/H929, and many other "branded" versions, of the same basic design, including Silvertone, Airline & Regal models....many of which are available in the pages here!

......not to mention of course, the Stella H930 from 1954, I currently have available....exact same construction & cosmetics, but a floating bridge & metal tailpiece, rather than a fixed bridge.

**** YOUTUBE ****

There are various demo clips of the post-war Harmony-made Stella H929s and the it's various clones, which you can see on YouTube, but clips of 1930s Harmony parlors tend to be mainly the Supertone branded versions they made for Sears....a number of which can be found on the splendid James Ralston's Roadtoast channel on YouTube.

The embedded link below is to YouTube clip...."1930s Harmony-made tropical stencil parlor guitar" from the also splendid Jake Wildwood, and in addition to his YouTube channel content, you can also see/read more at guitar is constructionally similar, with fixed bridge, but open headstock.

A selection of the clips of post-war Harmony Stellas I have used include...."Guitar rag - 1964 Stella parlor guitar" by "wsbluesbox" with some very nice playing....."Sitting on top of the World - Harmony Regal parlour guitar" by "Deepriver100" on a Regal R200....and "Vintage Harmony Stella H927 parlor guitar" by GBguitars.
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