George Bauer was a Philadelphia luthier who made guitars and mandolins in the period around 1890-1910. He was a contemporary of S.S. Stewart, and he formed a partnership with Stewart's sons after Stewart's death in 1898. There is very little information on Bauer guitars. This is probably due to the short life of the company. The Stewart brand is still known today in the banjo world, but the name has changed owners several times. The Bauer name disappeared after George Bauer passed away and the Bauer & Stewart Company was sold after 1910.
This is a 'Monogram #10' model, with solid Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, and American Oak top. Neck appears to be Mahogany, with the fretboard Ebony. Serial number stamped onto the top of the headstock is 31363. It is difficult to be accurate with dating of these rare guitars, but my research plus constructional characteristics lead me to believe it is late 1890s. It may possibly have been made in the early 20th century, but serial numbers on Bauer instruments dated to 1900 are higher (by about 4000 or more).
It is a basic instrument with virtually no 'bling', but I absolutely love the detailed, beautiful tone of this instrument. When it was with the Grouse Guitars luthier of choice, Jim Cargill, having some cracks to the sides repaired, there was a very expensive, high-end Martin 'O' size in the workshop, and this little Bauer had more volume and a sweeter tone - Jim was extremely impressed!
Check out the 'more pictures' link below to see this lovely old girl in all her detail.
Sold to Andrew