Acoustic Guitar - A 19th Century guitar by Juan Perfumo

Acoustic Guitar listing typeFor Sale
Instrument number37088
Acoustic Guitar listedbefore 2017

Description: Acoustic Guitar - A 19th Century guitar by Juan Perfumo

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An 1835 Spanish guitar by Juan Perfumo, Cádiz.

Model: A 6-string 19th Century Spanish guitar by Juan Perfumo
Year: 1835
Town: Cádiz
Country: Spain

Strings: 6 (orig: trebles made of sheep gut and basses of silk with silver winding)
Tuners: 6 wooden pegs
Bridge: Lute-like tie bridge
Top: Spruce wood
Back and sides: Spanish Cypress
Total length: 935mm.
Upper bout: 213mm.
Waist: 172mm.
Lower bout: 276mm.
Sound box depth - increasing from heel to base: 92mm. to 103mm.
Scale (sounding string length): 623mm.
Fingerboard width at nut: 52mm.

Condition: Restored and fully playable.

Juan Perfumo (Cádiz, ±1800 -1860) was a carpenter and woodcraftsman born in Cádiz. As far as is known today he was active as a guitar and bandurria maker from ±1830 till his sudden death in 1860. His first atelier address was ‘calle de la Cruz Verde No. 11’ as is pointed out at labels in the oldest known guitars by this maker. Juan Perfumo’s guitars were highly appreciated because of their typical Spanish sound (a clear and singing treble with a deep and warm bass) and found their way to Spanish customers as well as to international musicians. Known for instance is that they were exported to Europe, South America and Japan. Today a dozen instruments by Juan Perfumo are located. It is recorded that Juan Perfumo drowned at sea in 1860.

The sound of this Perfumo guitar projects well, is quite loud and very pure. On the one hand it is vibrant, still referring to the Baroque epoch with its clear sounding double strung guitars, while on the other hand it captures - with its deeper, fan braced and larger sound box - already the deep and warm sound so characteristic for the Spanish concert guitars made some decennia later in the 2nd half of the 19th Century by Antonio de Torres and Vicente Arias.

This 1835 6-string Juan Perfumo Spanish guitar is perfectly restored and fully playable. In the past I have used it in concerts to perform the famous Luigi Boccherini guitar quintets with a Baroque string quartet (period instruments of the violin family played with period bows and strung with gut-strings etc.). It is also an excellent instrument to perform the beautiful guitar music composed by i.e. François de Fossa, Fernando Sor and Dionisio Aguado. All being contemporaries of Juan Perfumo who make this guitar all the more interesting for today's performers.

For more information, photos and price of this early Spanish guitar by Juan Perfumo, please contact me.

Alex Timmerman - 2008.

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