1894 Jose Lopez Beltran


Make: Jose Lopez Beltran
Model: Classical Guitar
Model Year: 1894
Top: German Spruce
Back & Sides: Spanish Cypress
Scale: 635mm
Nut: 50mm
Finish: French Polish
Tuners: Brass
Country: Spain
Condition: Used - Excellent
Location: Tucson

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1894 Jose Lopez Beltran

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1894 Jose Lopez Beltran

25,000.00

Make: Jose Lopez Beltran
Model: Classical Guitar
Model Year: 1894
Top: German Spruce
Back & Sides: Spanish Cypress
Scale: 635mm
Nut: 50mm
Finish: French Polish
Tuners: Brass
Country: Spain
Condition: Used - Excellent
Location: Tucson

MORE INFO...

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This guitar is probably the rarest guitar in our guitar collection, only two others are known. José López Beltrán was born in the parish of San Sebastian, Almeria in 1846 and died sometime after 1906. He seems to have assisted the great Spanish luthier Antonio de Torres (1817-1892) during the last few years of his life. This guitar's label reads "José López Beltrán/Unico Discipulo/de/Don Antonio Torres/Teatro Apolo/Almeria Anno 18[94]" (penned in). We know that by 1887 Torres' heath was deteriorating, and his hands shook so badly that he had difficulties signing his name, and needed help to do assembly work. He was widowed, and had two young daughters Matilde (b. 1872-73) and Ana (b.1876) to support, and so was building full-time. While Juan Martinez Sirvent, a local priest, assisted Torres form time to time, Torres probably needed more help than the priest could provide. We also know Torres struggled in his last years, and died so deep in debt that even the sale of all his properties wasn't enough to pay off his creditors completely. Reading between the lines, here is where I suspect José López Beltrán entered the picture. More worried about finding help than training a competitor, Torres stuck a deal with José López Beltrán that he would teach him to make guitars in return for his help. We know that in 1894 Torres' family asked José López Beltrán to make a fitted case to send Torres' famous 1856 "La Leona" to its buyer in Argentina. The fact that José López Beltrán was advertising himself as Torres' disciple on his label at the time suggests that the family had no difficulty with his claim. However, perhaps the strongest argument that José López Beltrán had some instruction from Torres is this instrument's characteristically Torres sound. Although this guitar is built with Spanish cypress and has pegs, its sound is purely classical, and it is evident from the condition of the top that it has never been used as a flamenco guitar.