Here’s something you don’t see every day – two Maurer “Picasso” guitars side by side! A certain guitar collector currently owns both – I was unaware he had either. The left one was originally from Vintage Instruments; the one on the right from the late Scott Chinery’s liquidated collection.
I’m trying to help the current owner try to decide which one to sell and for how much.
It’s a tough call – neither has the coveted internal second body (it seems only one does), and they represent the different body shapes. Other than the offset necks and soundholes, they are really somewhat different in appearance, or at least the “visual effect”!
Of the 7 specimens known so far to have been built, none are exactly alike. I’m aware of only five surviving instruments, all shown on the Maurer/Stahl page. They fall into the two general body shape options: the more “standard” body, and the one that I once dubbed the “goiter guitar,” with the smaller body protruding out of the larger body. The latter shape matches the one in the patent, though the necks can be offset, or the bass side can morph into a hollow arm. A fascinating bit of Larson Brothers history in these things – almost Knutsen-like in the experimenting!
I didn’t really mean to disparage them by my title – they are just so goofy looking that I was reminded of that movie with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
Value? The sky’s the limit. They are truly special instruments – but though they are probably 50 times rarer than Dyers, they seem to be an acquired taste. So it’s a really a question of which specimen is more interesting and “most cool” (for those who love this kind of thing), or which is “the least ugly” (for those who don’t).
As you know, I now own Bob Hartman’s major find (originally bought by Stacy Hobbs), the Stahl with the hollow neck and wild headstock (as seen in the Fretboard Journal, Summer 2010) – so you know which side I’m on.