Hermann Hauser Sr. (1882-1952) is best remembered for the remarkable instruments he built in the Spanish style after 1924. In that year, both Andrés Segovia and Miguel Llobet visited Hauser. Segovia was impressed by the quality of Hauser's work and wrote his impressions, noting that he "immediately saw the potential of this great artisan if only his mastery might be turned to the construction of the guitar in the Spanish pattern, as immutably fixed by Torres and Ramirez as the violin had been fixed by Stradivarius and Guarnerius" (Segovia in Guitar Review 1954). After Torres, Hauser I guitars are the most studied, revered and desired of the great historical makers, and are coveted today by collectors, players and luthiers.
This guitar has a great history, it has been played and admired by many great artists over the past many decades. Its most recent owner, Angel Romero, first encountered this guitar when he befriended the great violist Virginia Majewsky (who played for the legendary viloinist Jascha Heifetz and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky). Virginia had been long-time friends with Andres Segovia, who encouraged her to have a bow made by the Fleta workshop in Barcelona, which she did, but after the introduction, she was smitten by the charm of the classical guitar and eventually, with Segovia's assistance, she obtained both a Fleta guitar and this 1926 Hauser I. Angel's enthusiasm for this Hauser led Virginia to loan it to Angel for many years (she herself only being a hobbyist with the guitar), and upon her death, she willed it to him permanently. Over these years, Angel toured extensively with this instrument, performing in top venues all around the world, and even loaned it to members of his family on occasion, his father Celedonio Romero being particularly also taken with the guitar so much so that they shared it for a number of years.
By the year this instrument was built in 1926, Hermann Hauser was already well-acquainted with the work of Antonio de Torres - indeed he had seen and studied Miguel Llobet's 1859 (FE 09), even having drawn a plan of it in 1922, and in 1926, acquired an 1860 Torres (FE 13) from Llobet - two instruments that would have a permanent impact on his style. In 1924, he met Andres Segovia for the first time and was also able to examine his 1912 Manuel Ramirez (built by Santos Hernandez), and again, this instrument also had a profound effect on his own work - most famously the "Manuel Ramirez" head on Segovia's guitar would remain a favorite of Hauser's for over a decade after his first encounter with it and appear on many of his guitars (including this 1926). One other interesting detail of this 1926 guitar is the "one piece" back of CSA rosewood, which was veneered internally with a layer of spruce - this was quite common in zither construction of this time, showing how Hauser was incorporating elements of his own Germanic base into the Spanish designs he was discovering in Torres and Manuel Ramirez. Sound is absolutely sublime, this is a phenomenal players instrument all around, with a rich, deep texture that gives it a unique lyricism and great beauty of tone. Like all great Hausers it is also perfectly balanced with great clarity between voices - really a true joy to play and listen to. It is fitted with a "zero fret" which makes the open strings sound like the fretted notes - as all notes vibrate between a fret and the saddle which maximizes consistency of sound.
Condition is excellent for such an old instrument - apart from two well-repaired cracks in the upper bout and one in the lower bout of the soundboard, the guitar is in otherwise completely original and excellent condition with normal wear given the amount of performing that has been done on it. It is in performance-ready condition, either for the concert stage or recording studio, or simply for a luxurious evening of private playing. Truly a remarkable and rare instrument with a great backstory from one of history's most important luthiers.