c. 1890 Francisco Nunez SP/WN
|Back & Sides
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This is a very rare instrument by Francisco Nunez (1841 Pontevedra, Spain - 1919 Buenos Aires, Argentina). Nunez moved to Argentina in 1858 and apprenticed with Salvador Ramirez, and eventually founded the famous shop "Casa Nunez" in 1870 - which is still open to the public to this day. Although the shop became a large manufacturer of guitars, Nunez himself continued to build his own artisan-style guitars one at a time, this particular instrument being such an example. It was restored (as indicated by the label) by his nephew Daniel Lago Nunez who appears to have replaced the bridge and machine heads as well as repairing some cracks on the top, back and sides. The guitar is built in the older, 'tablao' style, which was popularized largely by Jose Ramirez I at the end of the 19th century. The tablo style is notable for the shallower body depth and increased doming in the top and back. This gives the guitar a big burst of energy at the front/attack of each note, making it not just suitable for playing classical music in virtually any setting (with ensembles of any kind) and for flamenco playing as well. Apart from having a big attack, the sound is old-world, warm and rich. The guitar is also stunning to look at - it has a carved, Simplicio-style head, with rope purfling around the perimeter of the top and a lovely, MOP inlaid rosette. Overall a unique and rare instrument.