A german made Hofner Congress from the late 50's. Could have been bought in England or Germany originally but found its way to Australia in the 60's and was returned to England in 1967 where it lived with one owner until I purchased it in 2009 and returned to Australia. In their days this was a very popular quality Archtop Guitar. Hofner has made some of the worlds best Archtop guitars in their time and yet by many U.S standars they have not, I believe, been recoginised for their full controbution to the guitar world.
Some History on Hofner from Hofner.com
Master violin maker Karl Höfner founded his own stringed and fretted instrument company in Schönbach, Germany in 1887. With a reputation for quality, craftsmanship and innovation, Höfner soon became the largest manufacturer of stringed and fretted instruments in Germany. Thus, in 1907 Karl Höfner was entrusted with the repair of the violin of the Saxon King, and the master performed his job to the full satisfaction of his client.
When his two sons, Josef and Walter, joined their father's company in 1919 and 1921 respectively, acoustic guitars already represented a significant part of Höfner's instrument production. In a market dominated by inexpensive student guitars during the 1920s and 1930s, Höfner guitars were already establishing new standards and the company capitalized on that leadership during the decades that followed.
In 1955 Walter Höfner, a creative businessman as well as a violin and guitar maker, invented an electrically amplified semi-acoustic bass. The distinctive 500/1 bass was launched at the 1956 Frankfurt Music Fair and subsequently rose to fame under a different name.
In 1961 Paul McCartney bought his first Höfner bass in a music shop in Hamburg. Paul's ‘Beatle Bass' can be heard on many of the Beatles‘ most famous songs and still accompanies him on stage and in the studio to this day.
A new chapter of Höfner history began in 1997 when the company moved to a new production facility near the village of Hagenau. Millions of Euros have since been invested in state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly production technologies. Today, Höfner continues to build fine quality, hand-crafted hollow-body and bass guitars for new generations of players and collectors.