A while ago, I received this mail:
I got the chance to buy an old Rikhi Ram GP Sitar for 40€ only (the 60yo sellers dad died and she kept it since~30yrs ago so I would guess 1970s or 80s).
The sitar looks very good and has the white/gold Rikhi Ram label, but the gourd is broken on two positions or more. Some parts of the gourd they kept, some parts are missing. Someone unfortunately already tried to repair it without any success, the repaired pieces look extremely shitty glued 😀
I would like to get the sitar repaired, but I wouldn’t trust me to do it so I thought Ill contact you as I follow your blog enthusiastically for some time now.
Can I maybe send you some pictures to get you an impression of the damage? Since the sitar just stood around for 30ish years, I would like to get a full facelift done of everything plus jawari of course.
Sören, from Germany
A while later, the sitar has arrived…
Terrible what happened to this sitar:
It is difficult to find out what product was used. I think it must have been a hard synthetic glue on the inside, and then overlaid by a hard hot glue on the outside.
The good news is that the construction on the inside is well done firmly, so that is a good point. I can remove the hard glue on the outside with a chisel and make it smooth again. The tumba is definitely repairable. It does have a few pieces missing, but I can repair them with pieces from another broken tumba I have lying around here.
Once the tumba is ready, I can remove the remnants of that shitty glue on the outside with sandpaper and smooth the surface. A new black wax bond is also applied.
Followed by a finish with new colour & shellac lacquer layers.
The rest of the sitar looks fine. All the pegs are ok but turn very stiffly, the frets are oxidised but of fine quality, a good bridge in horn is present and intact and the joint is tight.
Finally frets repolishing and binding, new strings, doing jawari and tuning etc…
I think this sitar is definitely worth all the work. It is a common good quality Rikhi Ram Gandhar Pancham 70-80’s model that has potential to be a good sounding & reliable sitar. So be it! 🙂