Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Guitar Builders of the early 19th Century

The photo left is a period Fabricatore, and the others are reproductions of originals by luthier Bernhard Kresse.


General Information about 19th century guitars:

Only the most famous builders from the earliest 6-string guitar through the 19th century are discussed on this page. This site presents only the most rudimentary basics of the topic. There were numerous 19th century builders, in fact probably hundreds of luthiers. For many of these makers, perhaps only a handful or even only 1 guitar survives. Just like today, some builders made expensive, highly-prized concert guitars, while other makers made cheap household guitars, and every level inbetween. Some makers achieved great playing guitars with tremendous power and tone, while others made ornate instruments for social graces. There were plain-looking guitars for musicians (which often have surprisingly good tone quality and power), and ordinary household guitars for students. There was a great variety of construction technique and design. The historical facts of most of these builders have fallen into historical obscurity and are lost. Even the primary builders remain surrounded by uncertainty as to the most basic details. Most guitars of this era have lost their label and are identified by estimating their country of origin and time period, based on design characteristics of other labeled, known dated guitars. It often helps the resale value of the guitar to pay for a written appraisal. Fernando Sor mentions several builders in his “Method for the...

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