Abdo George Nahat was originally known for his partnership with his brother (Roufan) under the "Ikhwan" label. Later he began making instruments using his own label.
His work displayed a great variety of diversity. Some of his ouds were very simple yet elegant, while others radically virtuosic demonstrating a level of mastery and imagination that has never been seen since. One such exemplary instrument Abdo made in 1910 was made famous by player Hamza Al Din and demonstrates remarkable workmanship and artistry. Very delicate inlays, mosaics, one of the most intricately carved rosettes that we know of not to mention one of the most incredible sounds we ever heard. This oud really had it all.
The oud that came to Lord of the Strings however is more of the "simple yet elegant" type, yet still very beautiful. In fact many people prefer these kind of instruments over the more ornate kinds. It arrived to me in a sorry shape.
It came to me with a rosewood fingerboard that was installed on top of the oud all the way to the soundhole, something Abdo George never did. Poorly fitted modern ebony Parisian eye tuning pegs were installed, which alienated the style and color scheme of the instrument.. Super high action was never addressed on this oud either. This work had been done recently in Beirut. My goal was again to restore it to it's originality and make it more playable at the same time. The fingerboard was removed and I was hoping to see the original fingerboard underneath, but alas, it was gone. I also noticed the binding around the edge of the bowl was not original. So the next thing I did was lower the action, followed by installing mosaic around the edge of the bowl with a pattern I copied from Nahat. This measure was to restore originality more than anything. A lot of times I'll find older ouds that had mosaics around the edge of the bowl replaced, because a few pieces broke off, so they were all removed and a single strip of walnut or rosewood was put there instead. After some other standard repair work was completed like tracks on the face and some other impurities taken care of, I needed to address the fingerboard. I searched through my photo archives of Nahat fingerboards from mother of pearl (something the brothers did from time to time that I'm fond of) and decided to copy a particular mother of pearl design that I liked.