1947 Robert Bouchet SP/FW
|Back & Sides
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Here we have an extremely rare, unique, historically important and incredible-sounding instrument by Robert Bouchet, one of the twentieth-century's most revered builders. It could be argued that this very instrument is the foundational guitar "that launched the French school", as it was the first guitar that Bouchet sold publicly (Bouchet's first guitar was built for himself, see here).
As we have said many times, Bouchet is renowned for possessing all of the skills of a master luthier from his earliest work. This is also confirmed historically by the immediate and enthusiastic reception of his guitars by his contemporaries in the music community - including Ida Presti and Alexander Lagoya to be followed by the likes of such important players as Emilio Pujol, Oscar Ghiglia, Turibio Santos, Manuel Lopez Ramos and even Julian Bream. This particular guitar was originally owned by Lucien Corbani, a prominent aficionado in the Parisian guitar scene (and interestingly, the owner a string manufacturing company). We have photos (see above) of a gathering in 1954-1955 with (left to right): Joseph Reinhardt (guitarist, Django Reinhardt's brother), Lucien Corbani (owner of this 1947 Bouchet), Gilbert Imbar (manager of the Paris Guitar Academy) and a young (22 or 23 years old) Daniel Friederich who is playing this very Bouchet #2. Very revealing just how quickly Bouchet's guitars were circulating (and his reputation already very secure) at the highest levels of the aficionado community right from the start. And the reason is obvious - it only takes a few notes to be played on this instrument to hear just how majestic it sounds. It has a velvety, textured quality throughout all registers producing lyrical trebles, rich basses and great separation between voices. It has it all.