6-string guitar after Panormo, c. 1812

6-string guitar after Louis Panormo, London, c. 1812 by Clive Titmuss, 1987
$1,500 CAD
$1,120 USD

(Click for larger image)


European figured maple body: European spruce soundboard, maple neck and apple-wood head stained black; South American rosewood pegs and bridge; ebony fingerboard, strung with period-style strings.

(This guitar is an earlier version of the 2011 Panormo, also for sale, see my other listings.)

This instrument is a close copy of a guitar whose maker was declared by Fernando Sor to be his favourite. The quality body of his body of work alone would justify owning one, but there are so many more wonderful pieces from that period, the beginning of the guitar’s modern dominance in music and certainly some of the best pieces its long history.

Every student learns the etudes, but there is so much more, including dances, fantasies and improvisations, sonatas, concertos and chamber music with strings or winds.

I created it after borrowing, and playing the original for a number of months and making an accurate drawing and a number of copies. I also included some interior details, especially the barring and timber dimensions from a contemporary guitar by Grobert, made for Paganini, later owned by Berlioz. The two instruments shared some features, with the French guitar more elaborate in its interior construction.

For this guitar there are accurate details including fossil ivory frets and ebony pegs, an ebony fingerboard, bindings and head veneer. The neck is pear wood, the head is apple, both stained black and French Polished. The guitar has a pin bridge period-style strings. The principal timber is German figured maple for the sides and back. The rosette is made from holly, ebony and pearwood purfling.

It is perfect for playing the many composers of the period: Carcassi, Carulli, Giuliani, Sor, Legnani, Molino and others. This instrument is similar in the hands for a classical guitar player–the string tension is not so different, but there are more differences in the sound and articulation. The speech is shorter but more emphatic in the upper partials and the bass is amazingly penetrating and clear for such a small instrument.

The early 19th century makers were very clever in their use of minimal material to do the work required and preferred thinly-worked maple over rosewood, which dominated in the Iberian guitar making tradition. The upper strings would be described as sweet, while the bass balances this with a thinner more astringent sound than the boomy modern Classical guitar.

The classical period guitar is a development of two schools of guitar making, the Spanish school of Cadiz and Madrid makers who mainly made six-course guitars, and the northern guitar makers of France and England. Many fine guitars were also made in Italy, but they were mainly in the Spanish style, but with native materials, the sort of wood you find in a Strad: spruce and maple.

The Panormo guitar is interesting because the centre of guitar making shifted north when the Napoleonic wars made life difficult for the middle class in Spain. This is one reason that Aguado and Sor moved to Paris. Sor later lived in London, where Panormo was active.

Panormo used the profile and size of the six-course guitars and converted it for use in a six-single string configuration. HIs design is not a large as most Spanish instruments of the period, but this works well with slightly reduced string energy. Where the six course guitars were more raucous and noisy, good for outdoors or ensemble music, the Panormo is designed for solo performance. Both Sor and Aguado would have learned their skills on six-course instruments from their teacher, Padre Basilio, whose works are completely lost.

For more period instruments, my recordings, photos and information, as well as free guitar, vihuela and lute tablatures, visit me on the web, www.earlymusicstudio.com

Please see my website for more details and here is video: https://youtu.be/Wfd5kro4ntE

You will find more videos about early music, instrument making and related ideas on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo9xxfdmwQieHnL87Fn6xbQ


All instruments built by Clive Titmuss come with custom-fitted cases.
Prices do not include shipping and insurance.


If you have any questions about the instruments, please contact me.

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