1969 Manuel de la Chica Concert Classical Guitar


Make: Manuel de la Chica
Model: Concert Classical Guitar
Model Year: 1967
Label: Signed.
Top: German Spruce
Back & Sides: South American Rosewood
Scale: 664mm
Nut: 52mm
Finish: French Polish
Tuners: Fusteros
Country: Spain
Condition: Used - Excellent
Location: USA

1969 Manuel de la Chica Concert Classical Guitar

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1969 Manuel de la Chica Concert Classical Guitar

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Make: Manuel de la Chica
Model: Concert Classical Guitar
Model Year: 1967
Label: Signed.
Top: German Spruce
Back & Sides: South American Rosewood
Scale: 664mm
Nut: 52mm
Finish: French Polish
Tuners: Fusteros
Country: Spain
Condition: Used - Excellent
Location: USA

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Manuel de la Chica (1911-1998) is widely regarded among cognoscenti as having been of the great Spanish luthiers of the second half of the 20th century, and among the influential masters in the Granada school. Like many Spanish guitar makers, Manuel began his working life as a cabinet maker, and worked at his until the late 1930s, when he began to visit the shop of a guitar maker,  Pepe “el de la Alhambra” on the calle Correo Viejo, and inspired by Pepe, he decided to build guitars and opened a workshop at Placeta de la Silleria, no 8 in Granada. Already familiar with tools, woods, and having studied a little about acoustics, without any apprenticeship, he began to copy the guitars of Santos Hernandez.   Over time,  his guitar he began to evolve his own designs and his guitars were played by Andrés Segovia, Celedonio Romero, Luis Sanchez, Manuel Cano and Sebastian Maroto. He also attracted a number of disciples including Antonio Lopez of Paris,  Francisco Manuel Diaz of Granada, and Pedro Maldonado of Malaga. Manuel de la Chica retired in 1973 due to poor health, but lived another 25 years. 

His guitars are rare as his out put was small. He certainly didn't build more than 15 guitars a year. Because demand for his work is greater than supply, his guitars command a hefty premium-- I have seen them go for well over $12,000 US. This guitar is being sold by a luthier, who remarks this "Manuel de la Chica is the only one I have ever ownedin my 20 years of buying , selling andcollecting." Describing it, he says "The tone is as they say magical, better than my 35 Santos." It has a "full voice, with lots of volume."  Its top is supported with 9 fan braces, with a Bouche style bridge to balance bass and trebles. He also observes that the top thickness is 2.1mm at the bridge, 1.8mm on the bass and 2.2mm on the treble sides. 

This guitar has 9 fan braces and a Bouchet bar. It was thought that the Bouchet and Antonio Marin collaboration in 1979 introduced the Bouchet bar into Granada. This guitar has never been opened, so its being made 10 years earlier in Granada-- makes this a historically important guitar, and interesting piece.

Like many guitars of this age, this one has a couple of cracks in the top. These have been expertly repaired, and cleated nicely. Otherwise the guitar is in original condition, and is set up properly and is comfortable to play.