Looking for the Lost Luthiers

I've inherited a Spanish-style, hand-made classical, nylon 6 string guitar. I'm trying to figure out whether to sell or keep it; I love the thing, but I really want a Taylor T5 Custom, too! I'd get a lot more use outta the electric...
This thing has a label inside that says. "Another in the sporadic line of Tolliver guitars, constructed for T. Dunn By Bill Tolliver/D. Robinson 1975 Number 27"
So they made at least 27 guitars, then...vanished? I've found NOTHING online, absolutely bupkis, except a lot of references for a William Tolliver who is deceased, who is a very collectible African-American painter.
Can anyone give me any idea who Bill Tolliver and D. Robinson were? Did they give up building beautiful instruments, die of heroin overdoses, go to work for Kramer and build flying V's, join the Hare Krishnas? Anyone else have one of these guitars, or have clear memories of 1975? Ah, wait, nevermind that last one....seriously, though, people can respond to me here, or look for pix of the guitar at www.sammigarrett.com.
Thanks! :)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Sammi, I drew a blank too. All I got was the aforementioned William Tolliver, artist, and your own website (apart from the usual "search for Tolliver on ebay" caca). The only "T Dunn" I could think of was Trevor Dunn. Two problems, though; he's more of a bass player and (killer eliminator) he would've been about 8 in 1975.

If our vintage knowitall, SB, comes in with the answers from his www.vintaxe.com site, I shall personally eat my left leg in homage to him. Otherwise, you'll just have to settle for owning a nice acoustic; origin unknown. Dang frustrating, though.

This is one heck of a long shot, and probably wouldn't even bother posting it, as chances are it will lead no where... but ya never know...

A William Tolliver has posted on GuitarSite some time back. An email addy is included... but personally.. it doesn't sound like a luthier.
http://www.guitarsite.com/discussion/messages/22221.shtml

I'm gonna see what else I can dig up.

Thanks for the help!
I haven't gotten the pix up on my site yet, I'm a real website newby, but they should be there soon. The style of this guitar is just so gorgeous- I'd love to have a chance to let the makers know how much joy it has brought to many people over the years.
I tried to check out the Wm. Tolliver from the one post- that's how I found this forum, which I fell in love with! :D No luck so far- but thanks again for your help. If my searching turns anything up, I'll share it here.

Please do, and thanks for the nice comments on the site. I'd seen the Tolliver posting, but I think it's a coincidence. You wouldn't think there'd be all that many William Tollivers, would you?

I hope you do turn something up. I have this nice amp that, for years, I could never find out anything about. When I finally found out that it really was a nice piece of kit (made by Marshall), it was rather nice to know that my ears had taste (if that isn't too barmy from a physiology point).

Unfortunately, acoustics are the hardest to pinpoint. So many little, independent makers who never really used marketing; just made and sold a few one-offs a year by word of mouth.

Like said, let us know what you find out, and feel free to chime in on any of the other threads :)

Hi Sammi,

Honestly, I don't know much about acoustic makers, but the thought of seeing 1BL attempting to eat his left leg motivates me to look through my collection of acoustic literature and see if I can turn something up for you.

1BL, blood makes me faint but pics of you attempting to touch your nose to your thigh would be most entertaining indeed. I accept your challenge. SB

:lol: , I've got the oven at 200 Celsius, in anticipation of your success, SB. I'll happilly eat the leg, but I'd like to know how you heard about the pix of my nose touching my thigh. That was in my younger days, when I was "experimenting" with my personal relationships. I consider that matter closed and wish to continue to represent my constiuents in parliament :lol:

1BL, we all have a past, it just so happens that yours has been captured on video and posted on the web. I'm sure your grandchildren will be very proud.

You are right about these acoustic makers, lots of one off guitars, no documentation and a million plus luthiers producing. I'll do my best. SB

SB, 1BL, thanks terribly, both of you!
I had noticed before that many promising instrument makers of all kinds tend to dissappear after a limited number of pieces; I can relate to anyone trying to make a living in that business, up against monsters like Fender, Yamaha, etc. It's very similar to the situation I'm up against in my work.
I'm still extremely curious about two things though- what did these talented folk wind up doing with the rest of their lives? Did they buckle under and wind up in the polishing dept. at Gibson, or are they running a car park in Surrey? (Remember, I don't even have a clue what side of the pond they were on).
But perhaps more importantly, are you doing a bearnaise with that leg? Or will it be more of a dry rub? :lol:

Quote:
1BL, we all have a past, it just so happens that yours has been captured on video and posted on the web.

Y'know, going for a drink with Tommy Lee is never a good idea :lol:

This being the season, I thought (SB success permitting) the leg would go well with heavily-simmered cranberries. Two spoons of Seville marmalade should give it a nice piquance. Won't be the first time I've been legless at Christmas, and I could always buy a Pearl kit and try my hand at being a turkey drummer (bdum, tish :!: )

Best bet on the acoustic is that someone will read our drivel and post up a "I have one, and I knew the maker personally" post. It does happen.

That would make a merry Christmas for me!
Personally, I find applesauce is best with heavy meats.... :lol:

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions. Do not include any spaces in your answer.
Image CAPTCHA
Copy the characters (respecting upper/lower case) from the image.

Contact | Advertise | Contents | Privacy Policy | Forum

This site is published by Hitsquad Pty Ltd. Copyright © 1999 - 2017 , All Rights Reserved.