1946 Robert Bouchet #1 PI/CY (ex Robert Bouchet)
|Back & Sides||Cypress|
|Scale Length||650 mm|
|Nut width||53 mm|
This is an extremely rare and historically important guitar by one of the most legendary makers of the twentieth century - the very first instrument made by Robert Bouchet in 1946 which remained his personal guitar throughout his life. Jose Romanillos interviewed Robert Bouchet in Paris in April of 1986 (published in Guitar International, November 1986) and Bouchet said the following of this guitar: "I had played the instrument since 1932. In that year I returned to Paris, I couldn't bring my piano with me but I was introduced to the guitar and was captivated at once. Then I was lucky, I became a friend of a guitar maker called Julian Gomez Ramirez who was Spanish but lived in Paris. He made good instruments and he made one for me. I often used to visit him in his workshop so that when I came to make one myself, I knew what to do. Actually it was because I lost that nice guitar that I decided to make one. I showed it around and people said that it was quite good. A friend of mine, Corbani, who was a string maker ordered one and so became my first customer!". Bouchet's reputation as a maker soon attracted players to his studio - Ida Presti and Alexander Lagoya, Emilio Pujol, Oscar Ghiglia, Turibio Santos, Manuel Lopez Ramos and even Julian Bream, and this was the instrument that Bouchet would show to his visitors and quickly growing list of top players who were ordering his guitars from the start.
Bouchet's reputation of having all the skills of a master luthier from the start are absolutely confirmed with this instrument. His first "phase" (guitars #1-21) display a remarkable affinity to Torres, with lightly braced (7 fan) soundboard and the same essential proportions and dimensions of Torres - although the Bouchet "headshape", "label" and even easily identifiable bout proportions are already present in this guitar. The top is of pine (as Torres was known to do from time to time - a great example here) which is a remarkably responsive material as this guitar attests - it has great punch, a firm fundamental clearly heard in every note and a beautiful, lyrical and singing voice, especially in the upper registers. The instrument is in great and original condition, including finish. It is difficult to imagine a guitar that could be more collectible than this - and it plays and sounds world-class as well.