Stella Guitars
Click on a Guitar image to enlarge

Sovereign Double Neck 1920's
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeSovereign Double Neck 6 string guitar & 6 string bass necks. Bass fingerboard is fretless.Made by Oscar Schmidt in the 1920's. This one has a pick up installed later under the bridge. Note the Fender style headstocks. Was this where the Fender inspiration came from for their later headstocks, Strats, Telecasters etc. ?
Stella Westbrook 12 string 1930's
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeActual guitar featured in Rick Batey's 'The American Blues Guitar'. Made by Stella in 1938 this model is excessively rare one I know of no other in circulation. Played by the legendary bluesman Blind Willie McTell this 12 string really epitomises the traditional blues sound. Solid birch in construction with a width of 14". A true representation of a Traditional Stella 12 string.
Stella 12 string Auditorium 1930's
Click to enlargeActual guitar featured in Rick Batey's 'The American Blues Guitar'. This is a massive guitar. Auditorium size 12 string made by Stella in the 1930's. A true 'travelling piano'. Street corner volume and a perfect guitar to sing those Leadbelly and Willie Mc Tell classics to. Huge sound.
Stella 1905
Click to enlargeActual guitar featured in Rick Batey's 'The American Blues Guitar'. A very pretty and extremely rare Oscar Schmidt '0' size Stella parlour guitar. The sound on this is enormous by comparison to it's size. Constructed of birch & spruce with an unusually wide 'v' shaped neck profile it is 'ladder braced' like all of Schmidt's guitars.
Stella Decalcomania 1930's
Click to enlargeActual guitar featured in Rick Batey's 'The American Blues Guitar'. I brought this one from Neil Harpe. The Stella expert in the States who has probably researched the Oscar Schmidt phenomina more than anybody. It was made in the 1930's. All solid birch with inlaid gold sparke purfling, ivoroid bound top & soundhole, elaborate floral decals on the front. Neil's site is listed on the links page.
Stella Floral 1930's
Click to enlargeVery light guitar with easy action. Another decorated guitar by Oscar Schmidt from the 1930's. Very much in it's original condition. It's 13.5" wide and has a scale length of 25". All birch with an elaborate decal on the top. Strung with La Bella silk and steel strings.
Stella Gold 1930's
Click to enlargeTail - piece model with moveable bridge and gold effect laquering on the fingerboard. Quite a metallic sound to this guitar and would suit slide guitar playing if the nut was changed. There is a similar Stella to this featured in Bill Wyman's book.
Stella Marquette 1910
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeThis came in as a hospital ' intensive care ' case. It had a massive hole in the side, no bridge, names carved in the table and quite a lot more. It's a real rarity having been made by Oscar Schmidt in 1910. It carries a 'marquette' brand and it's a beautiful sounding guitar.
Oscar Schmidt Sovereign 1908
Click to enlargeVery Rare ,Top of the range Stella brand. A Sovereign 6 string made by Oscar Schmidt in 1908. This early Schmidt clearly shows his European influence by way an original ' moustache ' bridge. It has a marquettry trimmed spruce top, mahogany body and ebony bridge. One very minor repaired and stable crack. It has "that sound" for Blues picking.

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Stella ' Tree of Life ' 1920's
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeActual guitar featured in Rick Batey's 'The American Blues Guitar'. Possibly one of the rarest guitars in the Stella range. The ' Tree of life ' model was made in 1925. Very few come onto the market these days and when they do, they are snapped up immediately at high prices. Typical Stella 'Pyramid' bridge and a ' branch with leaves ' running the full length of the fingerboard in mother of pearl.
1st Hawaiian Conservatory 1920's
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeLate teens - early 1920's Oscar Schmidt Stella construction. All birch with bound top & soundhole and all original. An excellent small bodied guitar with a rich loud tone. 13.5" wide with a scale length of 25". Very versatile guitar.

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Oscar Schmidt Toneharp 1912
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeA very early lap steel conversion. It's a Stella 7 string tone harp made by Oscar Schmidt but sent to the E.D. Wilbur Co. in Schenectady, NY in 1912 for conversion to an early button operated acoustic pedal steel by means of a cam operated tailpiece.
Stella Arch - Top late 1930's
Click to enlargeIn the late 1930's Stella were making all sorts of hybrids. This is all mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard and it doesn't quite rub with the earlier Stella designs. I saw another, similar Stella with 'f' holes in a late 30's catalogue which leads to to believe this is actually a Stella made during the transition period to Harmony. My good friend and Steela guitar expert Neil Harpe agrees with this opinion.
Stella Mandolinetto
Click to enlarge1930's 8 string mandolinetto by Stella. Great sound.
Stella MandoBanjo
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge1920's mandobanjo by Stella.
Stella late teens early 1920's
Click to enlargeExceptionally rare ' top of the range ' Stella 6 string. Rosewood construction with half 'vine' abalone engraved into the fingerboard. Beautiful example of a very rare guitar. NB: I have to add a footnote, as confusion dictates that dealers have sold similar as a Regal.
Stella Sovereign 1930's
Click to enlargeAnother exceptionally rare Soverign Stella 6 string. Stunning example of Schmidt's work in mahogany.
Stella Label - Original Oscar Schmidt
Click to enlargeA sure way to identify an original Oscar Schmidt Stella is by the original paper label. Here's onw for reference. Unfortunately, not many have survived intact inside the guitars.
Stella ladder braced plans
Click to enlargeHere's the original plans for a Stella 12 string - ladder braced construction for an Oscar Schmidt guitar.
Stella / Lyra early 1900's
Click to enlargeBeautiful little 'travel guitar' made by Oscar Schmidt under the Lyra brand. Early 1900's and beats the modern travelling guitars by miles in every department.
Galliano Stella
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeGreat little 1930's Stella made by Galliano. Pristine condition, looks like new.
Barbeque Bob style 6 string
Click to enlargeSimilar to the 12 string played by BBQ Bob only the six-string version. It's a 13" or so wide andmade of birch with a walnut stain finish and silver decal rosette. It has "Stella" in the slotted headstock and a seperate bridge and tail.
Soveriegn Pocket Mandolin
Click to enlargeClick to enlargeSovereign Pocket Mandolin ...Mid-twenties. Spruce top, mahogany sides, back and neck. Flat-back design with pearloid fingerboard, headstock and pickguard. Standard mandolin scale, but the body is only 5 1/4" wide. "Pocket mandolins" (sometimes called piccolo mandolins) in general are rather rare instruments. This is the first Oscar Schmidt "pocket mandolin" that we have encountered. This adorable little mandolin really sounds surprisingly good!
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