The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Arthur Hansel Steel String Guitar Natural, 1952


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Here’s a piece of Canadian musical history – an Arthur Hansel steel string guitar built in Toronto during February 1952 and restored by Bruce Dowd.

Arthur Hansel immigrated to Canada from Germany during the early 1930s with the name ‘Hensel’ and was trained as a cabinetmaker and instrument builder. By 1936, he was listed in the Toronto Telephone Directory as either ‘Hansel’ or ‘Hansell’. This change may have been simply a typo, or a response to darker trends of discrimination against immigrants. He apparently worked as either a contract builder or shop foreman for the R S Williams Co. When Williams folded, he built on his own under the name Hansel.

This Arthur Hansel steel string guitar uses a body design somewhat similar to an ‘0000’; bigger than a triple-0 but smaller than a J-45. The Spruce top is X-braced and the back, sides, body blocks and neck are Mahogany. The fingerboard is flat-sawn Brazilian Rosewood, while the bridge is Indian Rosewood. The bridge is a replacement created by respected Toronto luthier Bruce Dowd while restoring the guitar. During the restoration, the neck was refinished. The binding, heel cap and unusual semi-floating screwed-down pickguard are pearlescent. Screwed down pickguards were sometimes common, Gibson used this idea, but Hansel used small spacers under the pickguard to keep it from damping the top’s vibration.

The finish on this Arthur Hansel Steel String guitar is in decent shape, and is a mix of original and refinish. The body and head front finishes are original but the rest of the neck has been refinished. This also means that the neck is quite smooth, without any dents. The Rosewood fingerboard shows expected finger wear. It appears to have been professionally refretted some time ago, with light to moderate fret wear particularly in the lower positions. A K&K Pure Mini pickup set was installed to an endpin jack; a previous pickup had used a jack on the lower treble side.  The tuners appear to be modern reproductions of Kluson style strip tuners.  

This Arthur Hansel Steel String guitar plays well and sounds really quite good, a testament to the skill of its builder.

A Washburn hard shell case is included.


Price: $950.00 CAD
  • Model: Steel String Guitar
  • Year: 1952
  • Finish Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 203, Signed and Dated February 1952
  • Country of Origin: Canada
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 28/10/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.18lbs 1.9kg
  • Scale Length: 25.27in 642mm
  • Nut Width: 1.7in 43.15mm

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