Stephen Barber & Sandi Harris Lutemakers
Catalogue and Price List 2014

Terms and Conditions 2014

Waiting time

(January 5th 2015)

Our waiting-list currently extends to just under 14 months – April 2016; 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, 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 instuments such as theorbos, baroque lutes and certain guitars, a slightly higher deposit or stage payments may be asked for.

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 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.

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 (Bremen, Bruges, Regensburg, Utrecht or Vienna, 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 company with global expertise and coverage, which we have dealt with for more than 5 years. 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 extra charge for).

Many overseas clients will have accounts (or have a friend, partner or work colleague who does) with DHL, FedEx, TNT or UPS; if this is the case, then airfreight costs to you will be significantly cheaper if you order collection of your instrument via your own account (with all of these couriers) than if we pay for airfreight and re-charge you. This is simply because, with the exception of Parcel Force Worldwide, all of these companies require that a UK account-holder ships a minimum number of items per month (usually 30+ !) which is rather obviously why we don't hold accounts with any of those named above (UPS, for example, would only offer us an account if we shipped 40+ items per month, but are of course quite willing to collect and ship from us using, say, a US or Canadian customer's account).

Therefore, it is generally in the interests of overseas clients to use thier own airfreight/courier accounts to receive their instrument; all airfreight carriers normally offer a door-to-door service.


We have recently sent instruments to colleges in Australia and New Zealand using TNT accounts held by those institutions; TNT provided an 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.

Because of billing problems encountered with UPS in the recent past, we are now only prepared to use them for customers who are existing UPS account holders. In any case, as already explained, 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.

We hope that this clarifies the position regarding airfreight.

All importation charges, handling, storage, delivery and freight charges 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.

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 and supply 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 carrying strap when ordering the case. Cases are made with black outer coverings and crushed velvet linings in a choice of colours in standard form, and are lockable; plain velvet lining is available, as is glass-fibre reinforcement for extra protection (although this option makes the case slightly heavier than the standard model) at extra cost. Other colours of case covering are available, including dark green, dark blue and white; for the full range and specification of their products, please refer to Kinghams' website:

Carrying straps can be supplied at a modest cost.