Domingo Esteso Lopez was born in San Clemente in 1882. He was one of the most important luthiers of the early 20th century. In the 1890′s, he began his apprenticeship at the workshop of Manuel Ramirez in Madrid. There, he worked along with Modesto Borreguero, Santos Hernandez, etc. In the year after the death of Manuel Ramirez (1864 – 1916) he worked for the widow of M. Ramirez. In 1917, Domingo Esteso opened his own workshop in the Calle Gravina in Madrid. In 1926, his nephew Faustino Conde joined the workshop, followed three years later by his brother Mariano Conde and eventually Julio Conde. When Domingo Esteso died in 1937, the three brothers kept building under the name „Vda y Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso“.
At the age of 48, Domingo Esteso built this wonderful guitar in 1930, at the height of his career. It is a rare model with Rio rosewood back and sides, featuring Esteso’s famous purist design with simple and very appealing lines and inlays. The French-style rosette is of the utmost elegance, and the headstock is the most elaborate of Esteso’s models, reminiscent of the most precious models from the workshop of Manuel Ramirez. This guitar was beautifully restored by the renowned Italian luthier Gabriele Lodi in Carpi. The bridge has been replaced and the cracks have been expertly repaired with very thin spruce patches. The restoration is a masterly work, which succeeded in preserving the fantastic and authentic sound of this Domingo Esteso as well as its phenomenal response.
This instrument is so alive, playful, and rich in sound colours that it seems rather hard to believe that it will soon be a whole century old. The head is fitted with machine heads from the period of origin but may originally have been a peg head that was altered soon after construction. It is altogether a masterpiece of craftsmanship and tonally certainly one of the best Domingo Esteso we have ever had the pleasure of playing, in a word, the quintessence of Spanish sound at the beginning of the 20th century.
Watch the presentation video of this special guitar below, where you will find a lot of additional information about its playability and sound.
|Back and sides:
|Brazilian rosewood (pre-CITES)
|Air body frequency:
|Knobloch EDC 34.0
|Hiscox Pro II “Siccas Guitars” Edition