The ‘Mermaid’ guitar. Built by world-renowned Luthier, Andy Mason.
Andy Mason, the artist and musician responsible for this gorgeous yet completely bizarre fully-functional guitar in the shape of a mermaid, built his first guitar in 1967 using whatever materials he was able to find in his father’s garage. And ever since the incredibly talented luthier (the proper title for person/craftsman who makes stringed instruments), has made everything from lutes to mandolins—as well as a series of guitars for John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page of few of which were of the elegantly showboaty double-necked variety that Page was especially well-known for playing.
Mason’s life-sized “Mermaid” guitar took three years to build and is comprised of nineteen different types of wood and according to Mason requires a guitarist with “sensuous posture” to be successfully played. In 2006 Mason put the guitar up for auction and it was reportedly sold for £5000 or about $9,500 U.S. dollars with half of the proceeds going to Harvest Help, a charitable organization that provides support for farmers in rural Africa. While I won’t be the first person to say that it is an indisputable work of art, it also possesses some odd characteristics, such as a realistic looking face sporting an expression which is unmistakably orgasmic in nature. Also strangely contemplative is how the mermaid/guitar mashup looks while it’s inside its custom case—as it takes on a much creepier vibe because it looks a person being laid to rest inside a coffin. Yikes.
Footage of the ‘mermaid’ guitar being played by UK guitarist and musician Julie Ellison.