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Model History


In order to find out the date your guitar was made and the workshop of origin, it is necessary to first identify the ‘era’ in which it was made. You can do this by looking at the interior label. Since we were true to our times and rather ‘laid back’ about everything other than the guitars themselves, we do not have extensive detailed serial number archives for the early years. However, since production numbers were so very small in those days, the math is not all that difficult.

Please select from the list below the design of your Lowden's label or Serial Number to find out more about your guitar.

Serial No. 0-143, Rectangular light blue (occasionally white)

Era- 1974-1980

Origin- High Street, Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

These guitars were built 1974 to 1980 in the very first workshop in Bangor, Northern Ireland by a hand picked and personally trained team of 4, under the direct supervision of George Lowden. Approximately 143 guitars were made during this period. The first guitars with A-frame bracing and the dolphin voicing profiles were made in 1976 and in many ways have established the Lowden guitar’s distinctive and unique sound. 

Serial No. up to 5000, Rectangular light beige

Era- 1980-85

Origin- Guitars are built under License from George Lowden by the S Yairi, Nagoya workshops, Japan

Guitars with this label were built between 1980-1985 in a small Japanese workshop under license to George Lowden. Approximately 1000 guitars were made per year.

Serial No. (re-started)- 0001-1306, Oval cream with green edge, new Lowden Logo

Era- 1985-89

Origin- Balloo Industrial Estate Workshops, Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Lowden Guitars of this period between late 1985 and November 1988, were labelled with a slightly smaller version of the oval label.

Serial No. 1307-1846 and 1847-15000, Oval cream with green edge

Era- 1989-2003

Origin- 1307-1846- Balloo Industrial Estate
1847-15000- Glenvale Industrial Estate Workshops, Newtownards, NI

NEW MODEL NAMES: At around the end of 1991, model designations changed. Previously the letter had indicated the botanical name of the wood used for the back & sides [eg. S = Swetenia = mahogany; L = dalbergia Latifolia = indian rosewood] . The new model names reflected the increasing range of body size/shape options. So O was introduced = Original body shape/size; F = the new mid size Flat-picker’s body shape/size; and in 1992 the S was introduced as the brand new Small body. The S when followed by a J was the Jazz nylon string model.

Serial No. from 15001, Large white rectangle

Era- 2004-present

Origin- New studio workshops in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

All Lowden guitars are now built by our family-owned company George Lowden Guitars Ltd. They are built under George's direct supervision in new 'studio' (atelier) style workshops located close to our home in Downpatrick, Co Down , N. Ireland. Some models have been revised. The new 'is' shape is more curvy than before with a shorter scale length(639) and redesigned voicing for this scale. The 'F' design has been further developed and the jazz (nylon string) model redesigned on George's classical guitar basis.

All models since 2004 are built with the original ‘dolphin’ hand carved bracing. The current era of production is signified by the new rectangular interior label, each of which is personally signed by George. Every guitar is also accompanied by an individual provenance document which gives full details of the guitar specifications and year of building, in addition to the warranty booklet.

Other significant dates:

2004
30th Anniversary Limited Edition                        

From 2006
The 50 Series Custom Shop.                              

From 2007
Richard Thompson and
Alex de Grassi Signature models.      

2008     
The "Lucky Strike" Limited Edition             

From 2008
The Baritone.                                                        
Brazilian Rosewood / Alpine Spruce version Jazz model
The 22 ( re- introduced)

From 2009
The Pierre Bensusan Signature model                 

From 2012
The Thomas Leeb Signature model.                    
The Fan Fret

From 2013
The Paul Brady Signature model                         
The 32 SE Stage Edition