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 comes from this period and was featured in the Sheldon Urlik book "A Collection of Fine Spanish Guitars from Torres to the Present". It has a top built from three pieces, a rosewood fingerboard and a simple but elegant rosette. The guitar is lightly built - only 5 fans under the top and no bridge plate and has a smaller plantilla, shorter string length and smaller nut width. Although the guitar is slightly smaller in size, the sound remains explosive - very loose and responsive with a quick and sharp attack. The guitar has had some restoration done to repair some hairline cracks and it is re-finished. Overall, a very charming example of a mid-century Spanish flamenco, 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