Stephen Barber & Sandi Harris Lutemakers
Catalogue and Price List 2017

Terms and Conditions 2017

Waiting time

(August 7th 2017)

Our waiting-list currently extends to just under 14 months – October / November 2018; however, we reserve regular 'gaps' in the list in order to accomodate the player who requires an instrument urgently - not running a 'continuous' list also of course allows us the flexibility to produce new models and prototypes, to travel for research and exhibition purposes, and to build instruments which are ready for immediate purchase:

Instruments available for sale now

Moreover, we are professional, and work very efficiently, so that we are usually able to find a 'gap' within, say, the next 6 months at any given point, should your requirements mean that your need for an instrument is urgent. Please inquire for up-to-date details and availability of these 'gaps'.

We also strive to fit in orders for Student Lutes between 8-16 weeks of ordering, since the vast majority of these are ordered by students, young players and beginners, and we feel that it is vitally important that new enthusiasm is not frustrated by being pushed to the end of a waiting-list which may appear frustratingly-long to some.

Whilst every effort will be made to complete orders on time (and this workshop has an excellent record for punctuality!) no absolute guarantee can be given in this respect.

Ordering Information & Business Terms

Once a model has been selected and we have discussed and agreed your requirements concerning string spacings and decoration, and a build date has been agreed, we ask for a deposit to confirm your order.

An order is confirmed by the payment of a deposit, which for most renaissance lutes will be £1600, basslutes, 10, 11, 12 and 13c baroque lutes will be £2000; guitars, vihuelas and continuo instruments also require a deposit of 2000, and Student Lutes 800. For certain special orders, where, for example, special research or elaborate decoration are involved, or complex instruments such as theorbos, baroque lutes and certain guitars, a slightly higher deposit or stage payments may be asked for. Deposits are non-refundable, nor are stage payments, once work on the instrument is underway, be it preparatory or substantial work.

The balance is payable in full upon completion of the instrument, ready for either collection or delivery; an order will not be released from the workshop until full payment has been made.

Payment can be made by personal cheque, Banker's Order (Draft), direct bank-to-bank electronic transfer, or cash (in British Pounds Sterling {}); we also accept payment in Euros. We are not able to accept payment by credit card (with the exception of a cash advance made against a credit card when personally collecting an instrument from our workshop; this can be done at our local bank near the workshop).

Bank details will be sent once an order is placed.

We do not charge VAT (Value Added Tax, TVA, Mehrwertsteuer) so there are no import taxes or duty costs throughout the European Union member states. For other countries, local import taxes and duties may apply.

Customers wishing to pay upon collection from the workshop must do so by either Banker's Draft or cash (in British Pounds Sterling {} or Euros {€}); If payment is made by personal cheque, 7 working days must be allowed for clearance by the bank before the instrument is released. Overseas customers are advised to make payments directly by bank-to-bank electronic transfer, using the IBAN/SWIFT system, or use the Giro system of bank-to-bank transfer, where available.

We also have a dedicated Euro account, for the convenience of customers in the European currency ( ) zone.

We do not send instruments out 'on approval' and an order which has not been fully paid for within 28 days of completion will be offered for sale and the deposit and any stage payments retained. We of course make exception to this policy if illness, accident, hardship or other genuine personal problems prevent prompt completion by the person ordering; this policy is designed to protect and assist the customer, as well as protecting ourselves from frivolous timewasters and cranks.

We do not accept payments via Paypal.

Collection & Delivery

Many customers like to collect their order in person and take the opportunity to visit the workshop (and of course take advantage of the fact that we are in Central London). We are also able to deliver an instrument to an exhibition or festival we may be attending ( Bruges, Regensburg or Utrecht, for example) for collection by the customer, and would not normally make a charge for this, except maybe a beer or two.


If airfreight is required, we use the services of Transglobal Express. an efficient and reputable UK-based company with global expertise and coverage, which we have dealt with since 2010. We supply a protective safety carton with copious bubble-wrap and polystyrene chip protection for the instrument and its case (a service which we make a modest charge for, included within the freight costs we'll quote you.).

Because of billing problems encountered with some carriers in the recent past, we now only use the services of Transglobal Express, who deal with all the major carriers, and we have thereby been able to pass on preferential rates to our customers.

DPD (Deutsche Post Direkt)

We have recently sent instruments to Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Australia and New Zealand using DPD booked via Transglobal; DPD provide a reliable, efficient and swift service. Along with their worldwide coverage, they specialise in the Far East, Pacific Rim and Japan.

FedEx & UPS

We are also able to send instruments via FedEx & UPS to US or Canadian customers who have an account with either of them, with freight costs 'All Charges Forward' for payment by the customer to their local representatives, who will also arrange for the handling of any local Customs charges or import taxes

UPS account holders in the US and Canada usually enjoy a lower rate for airfreight (when paying the consignment at local rates) than the price we are quoted in London by UPS.

Since September 11th 2001, airfreight companies have preferred to send instruments to account-holders, particularly so in the case of FedEx & UPS; along with the others listed above, they will no longer send anything 'All Charges Forwards' to a non-account holder. If you live in the US or Canada and are not an existing account holder, we understand that it is a simple matter to open an account with UPS, FedEx and the others.


However, if we are asked to airfreight your instrument to you – even a relatively short hop between European cities, such as London to Dublin, Paris or Stockholm – we will fully insure it from door to door – and we always do so with intercontinental consigments. The cost of insurance – for the last few years around £30 per £6000 of value – will be quoted at the point we quote the airfeight costs.

We hope that this clarifies the position regarding airfreight.

All importation charges, handling, storage, delivery and freight charges levied in the destination country are payable by the customer.

Lacey Act (USA only)

For US customers, we can assure you that all timbers we use are Lacey-Act compliant, and we are experienced in providing the required documentation for the requirements of the Lacey Act legislation.

USA only: use of Dalbergia species (rosewood family)

The US government – acting in conjunction with CITES – introduced a law on January 2nd 2017 banning the importation into the US of any items made from rosewood; by which they meant – for example – dalbergia nigra / Brazilian Rosewood and dalbergia latifolia /Indian Rosewood.

For US customers, we use Santos Rosewood (macharium scleroxylon) also known as Bolivian Rosewood, which is currently not on a CITES endangered or banned list.

Our pricing strategy is reviewed annually to take account of global currency fluctuations, and we reserve the right to alter prices as we deem appropriate.


Cases are not included in the prices quoted for the instruments.

We recommend Kingham MTM Cases, which are individually made by expert craftsmen and are in our opinion simply the best available.

A typical Kingham MTM case is shown here, this example for a six-course lute.

If a case is required it must be ordered at the same time as the instrument, and Kingham MTM will invoice the customer separately for the case; they can be paid directly via Credit Card, and accept Visa and Mastercard, but not American Express.

Please specify if you want a case carrying-strap when ordering the case.

Cases are lockable, and are made with black outer coverings (although if another colour is preferred, the customer can choose from their current stock selection on Kingham's website; colours usually available include dark green, dark blue, grey and white) and crushed velvet internal case linings in a choice of colours in standard form; plain velvet lining is available at extra cost, as is glass-fibre reinforcement for extra protection (although this option makes the case slightly heavier than the standard model) also at extra cost. Other colours of case covering are available, for the full range and specification of their products, please refer to Kinghams' website:

Our Guarantee


Our instruments are guaranteed against any faults or defects in workmanship or materials for a period of 24 months from the date of completion, providing reasonable care has been taken over handling and maintaining the instrument, and its stringing, pitch, tuning and storage conditions have been followed according to our recommendations (for example, a chitarrone designed and strung to be played at 415 should not be cranked-up to 440 or even 466 – this sort of action would of course void the guarantee, since it would subject the instrument to a dangerous amount of extra tension). Should you want to change the pitch of the instrument to a higher one (and not endanger the instrument, and continue to enjoy the protection of the guarantee) then you must change the strings to thinner gauges to maintain the balance of the overall tension, and according to our recommendations; we can advise on appropriate re-stringing in these circumstances.

We are sufficiently confident in our experience, workmanship, glue and materials to offer a relatively long guarantee, the caveat being that we expect the player to treat the instrument with care and respect; of the thousand or so instruments made by us over the last 30+ years, only three have ever had their bridges come off, for example – and all three of these incidents were due to careless treatment and storage of the instrument.

When an instrument is outside (past) the 24-month period protected by our guarantee, we will be prepared to carry out any repair work provided the customer pays the costs in full of transporting the instrument to our workshop, and back to him or her again.