Abdo NahAt 1942 Restauration
This aoud was highly damaged during the shipping to Germany by post. In spite it was packed in a strong case, this could not prevent the desaster. It was a very unstable case.
A big part of the soundboard has been gone loose from the mould and was pressed inside around 1 cm. Many decoration pieces of ivory and ebony have been broken out, but most of them could be collected and so only a few had to be made new.
To be able to do the repair, it was necessary to go inside the mould. To do this, the rose had to be removed. The completely opening of the instrument is a much more intensive work and also a high stress for such an over 80 years old instrument, which should be avoided.
But there was luck within the desaster. On one side the rose was glued with a modern plastic glue which is hard to loose, but the rose was not any more original, it is a plastic rose with some flexibility.
The roses of the Nahat instruments are made from ivory which cannot be bent and which are glued in a way you cannot remove them.
Inside the aoud the situation was horrible! The instrument has once been “repaired” already in a very bad way. Some small blocks have been glued inside between soundboard and outer rib, but again the synthetic glue ( white shining material ) was used and on the other side that blocks have been placed very badly. They all had to be removed.
Also there where some spots, where a bar has been gone loose from the soundboard ( square pic ). All that spots have to bee reglued.
While loosing the strings, I realized that the pegbox wasn’t still glued well. And it was quickly clear, why this did happen.
So the repairer ( I will not use the title Instrumentmaker for that person ) did something very crazy. Assumable during that last repair where the bad glue was used, also the pegs have been changed, changed to new modern viola pegs. A peg design which was never used for Nahat aouds.
But doing this, the person did not turn thinner the pegs adapting them to the existing pegholes, no he enlarged the pegholes that the new and thicker pegs could be inserted. That caused a very bad effect: there did not remain any space between the peg and the backsite of the pegbox for the strings. There was even cut off some material from the backplate. The result was, that the strings have been pressed deep into the backplate. Doing this a lot of force must have been applied to be able to turn the peg. This caused a side ward force too, which probably did break the pegbox gluing to the neck.
I have heard that the instrument was played before it was sold to Germany. It is a big miracle for me, that the musicon did not realize that problem.
And also the stringholes in the pegs have been drilled even when the pegs where in place as it can be seen. I am happy they have not been thrilled through.
It is really highly sad and horrifyingly how disgracefully nearly criminally this aoud was treated. All in all many hours have been necessary to bring this wonderful and excellentl made instrument from Nahat back to a playable instrument.
Find here at the end the restored soundboard.