Francisco Simplicio (1874-1932) started his cabinet-making apprenticeship in Masriera & Vidal’s workshop at a very young age. He worked as a cabinet-maker for nineteen years before he was forced to close his workshop in 1917 due to the political disorders of that time. Being unemployed, Simplicio entered the workshop of his long-time friend, the now Famous Enrique Garcia, as an assistant. When Enrique Garcia died in 1922, Simplicio took over his workshop and kept building guitars under Enrique Garcia’s name for three years. Francisco Simplicio was an extraordinarily gifted luthier and an eminent Barcelonian modern artist. The carved headstock of his guitars and the elaborated purflings are testimonials of his woodworking talent. Francisco Simplicio built 336 guitars under his name between 1922 and 1932. With their one-of-a-kind art-deco look, rich marquetry details, and graceful voice, Francisco Simplicio’s instruments undeniably rank among the greatest Spanish guitars of all time.
This fine guitar number 68, dating from 1926, is an immensely inspiring instrument. The spruce soundboard is beautifully crafted and adorned with generous purfling, which enthusiasts and connoisseurs have continued to enjoy until today. The rosette is tastefully executed with gorgeous inlays, and a beautiful hand-worked herringbone pattern harmonizes beautifully with the soundboard. With its distinctive body of figured maple, it is one of only three guitars yet known to have been made by the Spanish master from this beautiful timbre wood. Its headstock is made in a style similar to that of Antonio de Torres. It is decorated with a beautiful herringbone pattern in the middle, one of five known headstock shapes by Francisco Simplicio. This almost 100-year-old instrument has been well cared for and is therefore in a beautiful state of preservation, with only a few carefully repaired cracks on the top, some of them reinforced on the inside with fine diamond-shaped slips; probably performed by Antigua Casa Nuñez, whose label next to the original one was probably added in the course of restoration. The restoration of the middle joint of the top as well as the renewal of a small part of the inlays at the end of the sides were probably also carried out in the well-known Argentinean workshop. This magnificent, well-matured model from 1926 offers a very sensitive and emotionally appealing sound. It is a fascinating masterpiece, which can also be found in the book by Diego Milanese – Umberto Piazza “Francisco Simplicio Luthier” on page 238.
Watch the presentation video of this particular guitar below, where you will find a lot of additional information about its playability and sound.
|Back and sides:||Maple|
|Air body frequency:||F#|
|Strings:||Knobloch EDC 34.0|
|Case:||Hiscox Pro II “Siccas Guitars” Edition|