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Museum

1903 Santos Hernandez "El Bombón" SP/CY

Year 1903
Top Spruce
Back & Sides Cypress
Scale Length 650 mm
Nut width 51 mm
Finish French Polish
Country Spain
Luthier Santos Hernández
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Description

Santos Hernandez is one of the elite makers of the historical pantheon - along with Torres and Hauser I in terms of collectibility and historical importance. Santos became a very established maker early in his career when he became known as the builder of the Manuel Ramirez guitar of 1912 that was owned and played by Andres Segovia for the first 25 years of his career - this instrument now on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Many others have played his instruments, including Regino Sainz de la Maza (for whom the Concierto de Aranjuez was written), Eduardo Abreu, and the Romero family among others. This particular guitar is quite unique, it was built in 1903 and is the earliest known guitar to bear his label, as he was employed by the Manuel Ramirez workshop at this time, producing instruments with the Manuel Ramirez label until 1916, then with the "Viuda de Manuel Ramirez" labels until 1921, when he finally became established as an independent maker. The reason he would have made this guitar in 1903? For himself! The condition of this guitar is outstanding, which of course makes sense since Santos kept it until his death in 1943. It remained in the family for over half a century and is now in the collection of Jonathan Kellerman. It is an extremely charming example of Santos’ best work, with beautiful materials and his usual, precise craftsmanship. It is said that he was a very inward, yet proud person and the sound of his more typical guitars reflect this - this one in particular has a rich, deep and almost "pensive" quality of sound supported by a solid, almost self-assured fundamental at the center of every note. It also has a beautiful loose, old-world feel to it. Features a beautiful three piece back of cypress, and a simple but elegant rosette of concentric rings. Overall a gorgeous and unique example of this great maker's output.

Guitars by Santos Hernández