- acoustic guitars
Walter Penzel (1896 - 1963) came from a family of cabinet makers in Wernitzgrün, Markneukirchen, Germany. Following World War II Penzel was detained as a captive of the Americans until July 1948 in Kornwestheim near Ludwigsburg. Upon his release he went to work as an instrument maker at the Helasi company in Rot am See. Helasi was dissolved in 1953 and Walter Penzel became self-employed. He set up a room in his apartment as a workshop and had no other employees, save for his wife Hildegard who helped paint the instruments. On finishing a batch of guitars and mandolins, he would set off across Germany in his car selling directly to music shops. Penzel's standard model was an acoustic guitar with two sound holes in cat eye shape and a round middle sound hole. These are beautifully decorated guitars that stand out from other mass produced West German guitars of the period. Penzel's acoustics had an assymetric peghead, the upper-corner at the body end of the fretboard was always rounded off and he always used rectangular fingerboard inlay.