1868 Manuel Soto y Solares


Make: Manuel Soto y Solares
Model: Classical Guitar
Model Year: 1868
Top: German Spruce
Back & Sides: cuban mahogany
Scale: 655mm
Nut: 50mm
Finish: French polish
Tuners: unknown
Country: Spain
Condition: Used - Excellent
Location: Tucson

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1868 Manuel Soto y Solares

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1868 Manuel Soto y Solares

6,000.00

Make: Manuel Soto y Solares
Model: Classical Guitar
Model Year: 1868
Top: German Spruce
Back & Sides: cuban mahogany
Scale: 655mm
Nut: 50mm
Finish: French polish
Tuners: unknown
Country: Spain
Condition: Used - Excellent
Location: Tucson

MORE INFO...

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Manuel de Soto y Solares (1839-1906) was a luthier active in Sevilla during the second half of the nineteenth century. Manuel was descended from a family of guitar makers. His father, Manuel de Soto Castanón, was a guitarmaker, as was his father, Manuel de Soto. His maternal-grandfather, Manuel Solares Sánchez (b.1773 -d. before 1837) was also a guitarmake as was Manuel's brother, Joaquin. Manuel's workshop was at Cerrageria No 7, the same street whereAntonio de Torres also had his shop.  In his book on Torres, Romanillos states that Torres and Manuel did some business together, and relates a rumor that when a guitar Torres made didn’t meet his level of expectations, he had Manuel sell it through his shop, either as an unlabeled guitar or under Manuel’s label. 

In 1870 when Torres left Sevilla  and returned to Almeria to open a China shop with his new wife, the flamenco guitar as we know it was just beginning to emerge. His departure no doubt opened a bigger market for Manuel, who having been influenced by Torres, offered similar style guitars. What flamenco players wanted at the time was the so-called “tablao” guitar, with a “domed” top and back. These were very domed (arched) instruments that originally evolved in Sevilla with Manuel de Soto y Solares, and migrated north to Madrid with flamenco players. Manuel made this style of guitar, and so drew important clients, such as Juan Breva (1844-1918) who is known to have used a Manuel de Soto y Solares guitar made between 1870 and 1890. What is evident in the fifteen or so guitars known of Manuel de Soto y Solares is that he was a highly skilled artisan, familiar with Torres design and general construction methods. Perhaps this is why his guitars have survived and remain prized, where those of many of his contemporaries in Sevilla seem to have perished.

This guitar was recently restored by Andres Dominguez Guerrero, a master luthier in Sevilla. While this guitar's label is not dated, Manuel de Soto y Solares was not at the address until 1868. In 1868 Manuel took over this workshop from Maria Gomez, who had inherited it from Manuel Gutierrez. The influence of Torres is apparent in bracing, the use of a three piece top, and the plantilla (shape) of this guitar, whose proportions follow closely those of the Torres FE 21 from 1864. The headstock on this guitar appears to be one that Maria Gomez and Manuel Gutierrez used, suggesting perhaps some necks had been left behind in their workshop. After Torres left Sevilla, Manuel de Soto y Solares began using a three-lobed headstock similar to that of Torres.  For these reasons I believe this guitar was probably made in the late 1860s.