Spock's Vulcan lute made its first appearance in one of the earliest Star Trek episodes, "Charlie X," and Spock would play it three more times during the course of the original series. A replica was later used in the fifth Star Trek feature film and was subsequently seen in a mirror universe episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Then, in Star Trek: Voyager, Mr. Tuvok made two references to playing his own Vulcan lute.
Originally sculptured for Star Trek back in 1966 by Wah Chang from a single piece of wood (likely poplar or some other wood that was available in the large width needed), the lute prop was never intended to play actual musical notes. Wah stringed it using a single strand of nylon monofilament line strung twelve times up and down the instrument, coloring some strings to give them a different look. The lute was finished with airbrushed stains. Wah added a distinctive large knob on the front, which may have simply been the top of a Japanese or Chinese rice bowl.
In the 1970s, the lute was painted black and used in an episode of Mork and Mindy, along with various other Star Trek props and costumes. According to sources, the lute was later discovered underneath one of Paramount's sound stages in the 1990s during the run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This original lute and all of its parts were then carefully traced and recreated by HMS Creative Productions, prop makers for Star Trek for over two decades. HMS was hired to build precise Vulcan lute replicas that were used at Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas.
Now you, too, can cherish your very own Vulcan lute, hand crafted to appear exactly as it did in the original Star Trek television series, even down to the monofilament string system. Because the original type of wood used remains a mystery, HMS has carefully selected mahogany with a teak veneer and walnut accents, stained in certain areas for detailing, with a clear lacquer finish. Construction of each lute requires 6 to 8 weeks. This is not a mass-produced item but rather a made-to-order, high-end piece for your collection. Although the Vulcan Lute will not play musical notes and will not be tunable, it remains one of the most attractive and distinctively Star Trek prop replicas to be found anywhere…truly the pride of a discerning collector.
The Vulcan Lute comes with an attractive display stand. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for production and delivery.