1922 Antonio Emilio Pascual SP/CSAR (ex Raphaella Smits)


Year: 1922 Top: Spruce
Back & Sides: CSA Rosewood Scale Length: 640 mm
Nut Width: 50 mm Finish: French Polish
Country: Spain Condition: Very Good
Case: Yes Exchange Policy: ExchangePlus


ITEM: 06802


The "shortened" name of this maker, as it appears on the label of this guitar is Antonio Emilio Pascual, however his full name (one of the lengthier in guitar history) is Antonio Emilio Pascual Viudes de Aznar. He has largely been referred to as "Pascual" in the guitar community over the last half century for convenience.

Pascual was born in the Alicante region of Spain in 1883 into a family of musical instrument builders. His training as a luthier of course began at home but in his early teens he relocated to Madrid to apprentice in the famous Manuel Ramirez workshop. He would remain there from 1897 to 1909 (with a one year stint with Manuel's brother and arch-rival, José Ramirez I). In 1909, he relocated overseas to Buenos Aires were he set up his own shop as an independent builder, where he built violins, violas, cellos, guitars, and other fine instruments well into the late 1950s. Curiously, he continued to use Madrid as the address on his labels, perhaps because the Spanish makers were held in higher esteem than the Latin American natives, and consequently commanded a higher price for their instruments. He died in 1959.

This particular guitar was played extensively over the past many years by the great Belgian guitarist Raphaella Smits. This has been her preferred instrument of choice mainly for ensemble work, in particular for her Aranjuez concerto playing and in chamber recitals with the Ensor quartet. The romantic sound of the instrument also lent itself beatufully to her Barrios recitals - see the video below to hear the "Caazapa" of Barrios from a live recording made at Flagey Center in Brussels on November 8, 2009. Raphaella provided a short-list of the major concerts where this guitar was heard, and this includes: Brussels Flagey (solo), Antwerpen de Roma (with Liliana Rodriguez and the Ensor quartet including the Rodrigo "Aranjuez" concerto), Radio-Bremen (solo and duo with Eric Robberecht violin), Rotenburg Guitar Festival, Leuven Lemmens, Hasselt CC, Gent (including Rodrigo and Boccherini), Diksmuide CC… Festival de Wallonie (el Fuego). The guitar has had some restoration work to the finish and to repair some cracks, however it has retained its old-world charm and is in amazing worker order, as attested by its very recent and extensive use by Raphaella Smiths. Playability, quality of sound and provenance make this a very attractive instrument to collector and performer alike.

Don't show me this again