In the normal course of events of buying and selling guitars, we occasionally come across some that are rare and so special that we wish to keep them for some time. This is therefore our small, permanent collection of instruments that are not currently for sale. We have some early ideas about having some CD recordings made using these instruments and perhaps arranging some recitals featuring them.

Vicente Arias of Huertas no.29, Madrid.

  • Year:

    1902. Labelled, dated and signed by the maker.

  • Body:

    Brazilian rosewood - rather beautiful timber with characteristic grain marking and dark colours.
    Body length:- 460mm.
    Top bout:- 248 mm wide & 88 mm deep.
    Waist:- 207 mm & 88.5 mm deep.
    Bottom bout:- 338 mm wide & 90.5 mm deep.
    Shellac french-polished.

  • Front:

    European spruce - a good quarter-sawn top with a lot of silky medullary ray. The floral rosette is one of Arias's most beautiful; he produced some outstandingly beautiful patterns. The purfling is quite simple and with maple (probably) bindings. The bridge is very dark and could be ebony, with bone tie-block capping.

  • Tuners:

    Fustero with engraved brass side-plates and bone buttons. The head was thickened at the back a long time ago by Arcangel Fernandez, to be able to fit more modern tuners.

  • Scale:

    649 mm with 18 frets (plus 19th for the 1st string) on an ebony fingerboard.

  • Neck Width:

    50.3mm at the nut with 43.5mm string spacing.

  • Weight:

    1126 grams

  • Condition:

    This guitar is more than 115 years old and for that time is in very good condition; better than most I have seen.
    The rosewood sides appear to be in perfect condition with no repairs or visible cracks.
    The back has some short, cleated cracks down at the bottom and edge. There is no continuous centre joint strip, but cleats at regular intervals. There is some small separation in some places - and possibly when made as there is a little glued paper underneath the bottom of the label.
    The front has two long cracks that have been cleated a long time ago - and a smaller one to the treble side that has been traditionally fabric-patched.
    We must assume the guitar has been re-polished at some time, though a long time ago.
    The case is certainly old, with all latches and hinges in good order and a perfect fit but cannot be sure it is the original.

  • Comments:

    These guitars of Vicente Arias are not common with perhaps 65-70 known to exist today. They were, like this one, quite small in body size and almost every one seems to be different in terms of decorative detail. Some were very plain and simple and others highly-decorated. They do also vary in body size and plantilla shape, though rarely the size of the modern day guitar. In most cases, they have a very pleasing and often deep sound.
    This one has an air resonance around F giving the bass a full, deep character. The middle and treble are quite sweet and rounded - yet to experiment with strings to find what works best.
    Overall this is a lovely example .... very pleasing to the eye and charming to play.

    Vicente Arias - Click here to find out more about this maker

  • AVAILABILITY
    NOT FOR SALE
    + 44 (0) 1732 453 523 Contact via Email

+ 44 (0) 1732 453 523

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