Romantic guitars
Romantic guitars


The term romantic guitar or nineteenth-century guitar usually refers to guitars with six single strings produced between the late eighteenth century and the end of the nineteenth century, that is, until the advent of Torres and fan bracing. After the introduction of the sixth course and the transition to the six single strings,we can observe in Europe to a progressive enlargement of the instrument dimensions: in particular soundboards reached a size comparable to those of today but with reduced depth returning to a more streamlined profile than Baroque models. The usual bracing is transverse basically even if some great luthiers, among which we mention for example Luis Panormo, began to experiment different bracing systems, especially in the area of ​​the bridge, but we have to wait for Torres’s first models to really see the rise of modern fan bracing.



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Gaetano Guadagnini, 1821

The Guadagnini family is certainly one of the most important and prolific instrument-makerdynasties of northern Italy, active from the late seventeenth century to the second part of the nineteenth century. Gaetano Guadagnini, in particular, is recognized as one of the most important Italian romantic guitar makers: his style and the sound of his instruments had a profound impact on the musicians of his time and represents today an important reference for musicians who approach the guitar repertoire of the nineteenth century.

The model we propose, copy of an original instrument built in 1821, is characterized by a good volume despite the reduced thickness of the soundbox, a warm and mellow tone but ready in the response and lively dynamics. The case is made of fruitwood (pear wood or cherry wood) and dyed in the classic Guadagnini style, the soundboard is made of Val di Fiemme spruce. Different combinations of woods or finishes are available on request.

String length: 63 cm


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L. Panormo, with machineheads

(Photo courtesy of Edinburgh University)

Louis Panormo (1784-1862) can be considered one of the last and finest examples of romantic guitars maker. After analyzing some of the guitars of the Spanish school, belonging to Fernando Sor, he changed his construction techniques inspired by these authors, as also specified in his labels.

The work of Panormo is characterized by a big push towards innovation: he was among the first makers who experimented with the first types of radial fan bracing, with seven or eight braces, as well as withthe use ofmachine heads, and slightly curved fingerboard elevated in relation to the soundboard. Some of his constructive solutions were then taken up and optimized by Antonio de Torres, the "father" of the classical guitar as we know it today. Luis Panormo’s instruments are characterized by a very personal style of construction, a great elegance and balance of lines and the use of precious woods.

String length: 61-64 cm