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Enrique Garcia was born in Madrid in 1868. Although he was the son of a guitar maker, Juan Garcia, in 1883 he began an apprenticeship with either Manuel or Jose Ramirez I (or likely both), and continued to work in Madrid for many years. In 1893, his guitars won first prize at the Chicago World Fair. Garcia was evidently very proud of this acheivement as he represented this in pictorial form on his labels after receiving the award. Shortly afterwards, in 1895 he left Ramirez and Madrid for Barcelona where he set up his own workshop as an independent builder. Garcia is considered to be the founder of the "Barcelona school", or "Catalan" style of guitar making. His style influenced subsequent generations of Barcelona makers including Francisco and Miguel Simplicio, Enrique Sanfeliu, Enrique Coll and Ignacio Fleta. Perhaps the most important hallmark of his style is the increased stiffness in his soundboards - his guitars commonly featured 8 assymetrical fans instead of the traditional 7 - as does this guitar (notably - years later Ignacio Fleta would increase the number of fans to 9). Garcia was arguably the most sought-after and famous maker at the turn of the century (1900). His reputation very early on was truly international, largely thanks to Domingo Prat and Francisco Tarrega, who both played his guitars. By 1912 he was exporting many of his instruments, primarily to South America, where a thriving and very important guitar scene based mainly in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay was forming. His guitars have always been prized by performers and collectors for their intimate charm and unique style.
This is a wonderfully well-preserved example of Garcia building in his later, mature style. Stylistically the instrument is highly decorated with carved (and inlaid) head, mosaic work in all top purfling, half-herringbone in back and sides purfling. The sound is magnificent - great depth to every note up the entire register with a big bottom-end and lyrical trebles. This effect is enhanced due to its being fitted with a "tornavoz" - a conical tube attached to the soundhole, which adds a sonic boom to the bottom end and gives the trebles a brilliant clarity. It has it all - very lively and "friendly" with great charm and personality. Garcia instruments in this condition with this quality of sound are hard to come by, so we are proud to present this very rare and collectible instrument by one of the great masters of the twentieth century.