c. 1912 Manuel Ramirez SP/CY
|Back & Sides:
The Manuel Ramirez shop is undoubtedly the most important classical guitar workshop of the early turn-of-the-century, post-Torres era of guitar making. Manuel Ramirez (1864-1916) committed himself to ensuring the survival of the "Torres" design into the 20th century (and beyond). With his vision and determination, coupled with a shop assembled of the finest builders alive at the time (including none other than Santos Hernandez, Domingo Esteso, Modesto Borreguero, Pascual Viudes and very likely Enrique Garcia), he successfully produced great guitars that secured the legacy of Torres for all future generations of guitar makers.
This particular guitar is an elegantly built instrument with deep basses, plump and warm trebles, and rich textures of sound interwoven with the clear, bell-like fundamentals. The feather-like weight of the guitar gives it incredible volume and instant response. It is no wonder that in recent years more and more contemporary luthiers have worked to re-discover this style of build, as it has an absolutely mystical and magical charm that has continued to captivate players and listeners from the turn of the 19th century up to the present. The sound is unmistakably Spanish - deep, dark and mysterious, and the experience of playing a guitar like this is unique, likely also due to the age and its having been played regularly for over 100 years. This guitar is decorated with some of the fancier design elements from the period - including the use of mother-of-pearl in the rosette and bridge. The rosette itself is flanked on either side with a tight and uniform herringbone pattern, and on the inside with a rope pattern right up to the edge of the soundhole. This guitar would make a fantastic concert as well as recording instrument for either classical or flamenco styles of playing - this guitar was built in a period where the distinction between "classical" and "flamenco" was not yet being made. It's simply a great "guitar" - its versatility as a musical instrument beautifully accommodates virtually any style brought to it by the hand of the individual player.