Felix Manzanero Guitars, Madrid, Classical and 2 Flamencos--For Sale (from my personal collection)
December 25, 2012. Today I received an email from Felix Manzanero saying that he is now retiring!
Felix Manzanero learned in the Jose Ramirez shop in the 1950's where he was considered to be one of the best makers. He established his shop in the early 1960's in the Rastro (Thieves Market) section of Madrid. He has a splendid collection of 100 old Spanish Guitars in his shop dating back to the 18th century. I wrote an article about his collection which was published in the American Luthierie (Spring 1995)
I have had a long relationship with Felix. In 1967 I attended summer school at the University of Madrid and I would often spend time with him. A few times we went to the pensiones in the old section of Madrid (below Plaza Mayor) where he played tangos and pasodobles on his bandurria and I accompanied him on guitar. My father was buying guitars from Felix at the time and Felix recognized by great interest in the guitar and asked my father permission to take me on as an apprentice. This did not happen because I was studying Anthopology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and eventually I went to graduate school at McGill University for a Ph.D. As I developed my own Spanish guitar importation business I kept in touch with Felix and he even came and stayed with me a few time here in California. He has been very open to me in explaining how he makes guitars.
Felix has made more than 1000 under his own label (i.e., the 1000 guitars does not include the guitars he made while at Jose Ramirez which have his intials "FM" stamped on the inside).
Felix Manzanero, Madrid, 1999, Classical. Guitar #984 made by Felix Manzanero. Spruce, Rosewood. This guitar I personally chose at Felix's Madrid shop on Calle Santa Ana. I had purchased it for myself but I rarely play straight classical guitar so I have decided to put it up for sale. This guitar has been in my personal collection, stored in perfect humidity near (50%) here in California and is in excellent physical condition. It has a great tone. I believe that I received among the best guitars Felix has made (perhaps because of my long relationship with him). Every part of this guitar was made by Felix Manzanero. This is truly a hand made guitar--one man designs, makes and finishes one complete guitar--this is not a committee guitar. It was made by a greatly experienced maker at the height of his ability. The rosette of each guitar is hand made, it is not a purchased factory made rosette. The woods for this instrument were dried and seasoned by Felix for several decades before beginning this guitar (at least 30 years). The bracing and soundboard were carefully worked by Felix to idela flexibility/strength to achieve the unique Manzanero sound. Since this is a very SPECIAL instrument I will NOT ship it for inspection, you must come to California. At this time (December 2012) I will consider offers over $17,000 plus California sales tax of 8%. THIS IS NOT to be compared with the used, dented, damaged, used-up instruments sold by dealers/individual of "Pre-owned" Guitars. It has not been sitting in the desert climate (such as New Mexico or Arizona) where it would get dried out This fine guitar is essentially in new condition. It was made of seasoned wood and has now been stored in in ideal humidity.
Felix Manzanero, Madrid, 1999, Flamenco. Spruce, Spanish Cypress. This guitar was hand carried from Madrid to me in California by Felix Manzanero. He brought it to me without a finish. I French Polished it and the next year he came to inspect my work. I did this instrument in a light colored shellac. I wanted to see how the color changed over the next 10 years. I found that it changed very little. This guitar has been in my personal collection, it has bee kept at a stable relative humidity of around 50% and is in excellent condition. It has the distinctive Manzanero sound. Since this is a unique instrument expose it to possible shipping damage; I will not ship this instrument for inspection. At this time (December 2012) I will consider offers over $17,000 plus California 8% sales tax.
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