Jose Ramirez II (1885-1957)
, the eldest son of Jose Ramirez I
, took over the Ramirez workshop in 1925 after a twenty-year stay in South America. At this time, the workshop employed four workers: two journeymen Alfonso Benito and Antonio Gomez, an advanced apprentice Marcelo Barbero, who years later would become a famous guitar maker, and varnisher Manuel Rodriguez (nicknamed "Marequi"), whose son Manuel Jr. eventually became a well-known guitar maker. Under Ramirez II's direction, the workshop produced mostly plain, inexpensive but adequate guitars, particularly after 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, when high quality materials were difficult to obtain. Despite these challenges, Ramirez II was able to fill the economic niche for well-made guitars bearing the name of a famous workshop. These instruments were very usable for serious musicians both in flamenco and classical genres.
This particular guitar is a fantastic example from precisely this era, with a full-sized feel comparable to most modern instruments (many Ramirez guitars from this period are notably "smaller" in size), and a simple but elegant rosette. The guitar is lightly built - only 5 fans under the top and no bridge plate. The sound is therefore explosive - very loose and responsive with a quick and sharp attack - typical of only the best flamencos from this period but with a rich, sustaining classical tone. It is in excellent condition with only some well-repaired cracks in the top and is a very playable example from the workshop of Jose Ramirez II. Overall, a very charming example of a mid-century Spanish guitar, from the most famous workshop in Spain.
For more information on Ramirez, be sure to read The Ramirez Family: Masters of the Guitar
, or for information on the Ramirez family members, from Amalia Ramirez back to Jose I
and for some interesting fact-checking on myths and facts about this legendary workshop