More rare than a Panormo guitar, this original, wonderfully preserved and sonorous guitar is from the London-based J. Guiot, circa 1846– and it’s a cousin if not a sibling of a Panormo, in style, appointments, and provenance. The headstock and neck volute of this instrument, as well as the bridge, exactly match that of two known Guiot guitars of the period (see links below). It’s possible that this guitar was made in the workshop of Panormo by Guiot while he worked there, and it is in fact Panormo in style, exactly– but likely it’s one of the very rare-on-the-market Guiot guitars made after Guiot established an independent workshop in the 1840’s. Either way, we guarantee it as a Guiot, and the value of Guiots– being very rare– are in line with Panormos. This guitar is in remarkable original condition, with none of the kinds of damage, major repairs, or structural issues found on nearly all surviving instruments of the period.
And even more importantly, it plays wonderfully as well. We simply adjusted the nut a bit, and leveled the original frets, and it plays like it was recently made– but with a sound that only an 1840’s, London-made Spanish style guitar can produce. The intonation is great. Action is fine– not too high.
Listen to the sound/video clip of this guitar being played, by clicking here. (Note: the video is labeled “Panormo” because the instrument was thought to be a Panormo when the recording was made. The guitar being played on the video is indeed this instrument).
The guitar has a couple of repaired back cracks, and one well repaired top crack– amazingly little for a guitar this age. The features of this instrument:
All original finish
Brazilian Rosewood back and sides
Original Baker Tuners
Original pin bridge, that has never been off the guitar
Fan braced, 5 fan braces
Scale length: 25 inches (63.5 cm)
Lower bout: 11 3/8 inch (29.3 cm)
Upper bout: 8 ¾ inches
String spacing at bridge: 2 ½ inches
Nut: 47 cm
String spacing at nut: 1 ¾ inches
Depth of sides (bottom): 4 inches (10cm)
Depth of sides (top): 3 ½
Body length: 17 ¾
J. Guiot and A. Guiot were some of the luthiers who left France between 1830 and 1850, to work in London– and like Panormo, the Guiots made guitars in the Spanish style. Panormo had adopted a more Spanish style of guitar building in large part due to the urging of Fernando Sor– and that style that would soon overtake the French style, and eventually dominate in the new world as well (i.e. CF Martin’s adoption of the Spanish style of guitar making circa 1844 onward). The well known American composer and performer Madame Sydney Pratten was an ardent proponent of– and player of– the Guiot guitars in the mid-19th century.
Reference: two Guiot instruments with the exact headstock and neck volute, and bridge (and also fret markers on 5, 7, and 9 position on the 1846 instrument):
• Terz guitar, made by Guiot, Panormo model, London, made 1846– click here to view
• J. Guiot, Panormo school guitar, made 1844 – click here to view.
The instrument is in a modern hard shell case.