I may soon offer 59 cm 6 and 7 course lutes based on Venere C36 in Vienna.
I have questions from customers for making smaller alto lutes at 58 - 60 cm string length. Good candidates are the well known Gerle, Hieber and Tieffenbrucker lutes. The Gerle and Hieber have both been repaired and the bodyshape /outline is altered, it is possible to reconstruct the original shape of course, but I wanted to go in the direction of Padova and downscale a bigger lute. The Venere lute that draw my attention has been downscaled by other makers, Hasenfüss and others, and with their personal touch. Acoustics can be scaled, sound in spaces, horns, speakers can be executed in a managable size. So can lutes, but an interesting thing is that the old makes did not scale the wood thicknesses. We should not.
There is a famous Venere lute in Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wienna (SAM32/C36) that once belonged to the music lover Andrea Mantova Benavides 1696. (Gerhard Stradner, Galpin Society Journal) in his collection that had been in the family for 5 generations. This lute is in original shape and condition and has the beautiful proportions and full shaped bowl that is so typical for this scool of lutemaking. Most lutes by Venere are multi rib construction in yew wood. With only 13 ribs this one is an exception. It is an affordable entry into this beautiful world of sound. The scale is 59 cm, the original is 66,7 cm .