Northern Renaissance Instruments

6 Needham Avenue, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 8AA, U.K.

Phone & Fax. +44 (0) 161 881 8134 ; proprietor: Dr. Ephraim Segerman [USA]

e-mail: ; on internet:


From its inception over a quarter of a century ago, NRI has been very active in researching the historical design and acoustics of lutes of every type. During all of that time, we have worked with John Duncalf, an independent craftsman, who makes them to a particularly high standard. Following is a list of the most popular models and their prices. These prices do not include strings, which are charged at 35% discount on NRI prices if gut, and at Pyramid list prices in the U.K if nylon.


The following price increments are used in the Table above, and can be used to calculate prices of other lutes not on this list: £60 per added fret length in size, £30 per added string in the design, £30 per added pair of ribs in the back, £225 for two additional roses (chitarrone) and £50-800 for ebony veneers and bone or purfling decoration - depending on amount. Rose design is the customer's choice amongst any of the original patterns. The soundboard, bars, inner end clasp and neck block are spruce. The soundboard half-thickness edging is of boxwood, maple, ebony or rosewood. The pegs are of fruitwood, boxwood, ebony or rosewood. The bridge is of maple, beech or fruitwood, which can be blackened or the top surface veneered with ebony or rosewood. The pegbox is of figured maple, as is the neck if unveneered or unblackened. Otherwise the neck is of maple, beech or spruce. The back is of figured maple, yew, walnut or fruitwood. Back staves can be all the same or of alternating different-coloured woods. Thin contrasting strips of purfling, boxwood, ebony or rosewood can be between the back staves.


We make instruments to order, not for stock. This allows for variations of materials and appearance to suit customer preferences. When not given such preferences, we choose the closest we can to the historical original model. The instruments we make are exceptional in that they are not our own creations based on an original design concept, but rather as close as we can get to reconstructing a particular original instrument. In most cases, the information available to us about the original instrument is incomplete, so we use our extensive knowledge about design details of surviving original instruments and their acoustics to complete the design.

This design exercise has already been done for all of the instruments included in our catalogue listings, and quite a few others. If a customer wants a different type of instrument than those in the listings, we would be glad to make it, but the customer may be asked to pay for the costs of our acquiring the relevant information about the instrument if we do not already have it. A quote for this should be requested, specifying the particular original, or at least specifying the historical repertoire that the instrument is intended to play.

Regarding conditions of payment, a deposit of 20% is required when the order is placed. This deposit secures a place in the queue, and is fully refundable if the order is cancelled before we have started work on the instrument, but not afterwards. When the instrument is near completion, the customer will be sent an invoice for the remainder of the price of the instrument, plus the cost of strings, the cost of a case (if ordered) and transport costs. On receipt of payment of this invoice, the instrument will be sent as soon as possible. If the strings are made by us, there will be a 35% discount on current NRI prices. If the strings are not made by us, the current list prices of those strings in the U.K. are charged. If a case is not ordered, we will either lend a case for transport, and that case must be returned, or charge for a strong box to ship it in.

There is no VAT charged on our products. While the instrument is being made, we will ask whether a carrying case is desired, and if so, we will get a quote from a case maker and ask if it is acceptable.


We only accept cheques or money transfers that go through a U.K. bank and are in £ (pounds sterling). We are equipped to accept credit cards, but the cost of their use for instruments cuts deeply into the small fraction of the instrument's price that we take for administrative costs (the rest goes to the maker). Consequently, we will only accept credit-card payment if an extra 5% is added to the price of the instrument.

We accept Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards and Maestro and Solo debit cards. For security, the card information should be given to us by phone, fax or post. We can accept cheques, money orders or bank drafts only if they are in £ (pounds) Sterling that go through a U.K. bank.

Payment can also be made directly to our NRI account 81389955 at the HSBC bank at 577 Wilbraham Rd,, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 1AH, U.K.; sort code: 40-31-17, IBAN: GB34MIDL40311781389955, BIC: MIDLGB2144P.