1964 Diego y Gracia SP/CSAR
|Back & Sides:
This is an extremely well-preserved Diego y Gracia guitar, issued by the Antigua Casa Nunez shop of Buenos Aires. It is a "guitarra de concierto" with double back and as indicated on the label, was completed on 5-04-64, only months after the completion of the same model for Andres Segovia in January of 1964 (which later sold at auction by Vladimir Bobri). Indeed in interviews at this time given by Segovia (for example in "La Nacion" on 5/15/1961), he stated that Dionisio Gracia was one of a handful of top guitar-makers in the world at the time. Diego y Gracia guitars were also played by prominent musicians like Eduardo Falu, Maria Luisa Anido, Mallo Lopez, Domingo Prat, Cafrune Michelone, Adolfo Moon and many more.
This particular guitar was built with beautiful marquetry and complex inlays throughout the back, sides, rosette and bridge and boasts an elegantly carved head veneer. It is also one of the unique "Double-Boca" or double-backed designs, having a very thin inner rosewood back internally, vented by two stylized slots in the second, exterior back of the guitar. These early double-backed instruments by Diego y Gracia predated the experiments of Spanish double-backed guitars (particularly of Ramirez and Contreras), and many conjecture that the work of Diego y Gracia inspired the work of these later Spanish masters. The guitar is in excellent condition, with two hairline cracks in the top and one in the exterior back, nearly invisible now due to a very careful and conservative repair job. Everything is original including finish, etc. Sound is very unique, perhaps its most intriguing characteristic is the sustain, which has an almost "reverb-like" quality to the decay. These instruments seldom appear in the US market so this is a rare treat.