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, as well as 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 guitar by, number 299, made in 1931, is one of the most distinctive guitars of the 20th century. It is a unique model whose history, condition and sound truly enchant us. The gorgeous spruce top with its patina displays utmost elegance and a positive maturation. Back and sides are made of distinctive bird’s eye maple, this being the only Simplicio guitar made of bird’s eye maple known to date. In the course of its history, the guitar has had only one previous owner. Furthermore, this instrument was originally built for Matilde Cuervas, Emilio Pujol’s wife, which is explained in one of the original letters from Simplicio that accompanies this guitar. Its condition is spectacular and completely original, with both the original case and all original paperwork preserved. There are three small repaired cracks on the top in typical areas: on each side of the fingerboard and at the top joint. There are two fine repaired cracks on the back, which is of no consequence in the otherwise excellent state of preservation. This instrument brilliantly expresses all the refinement of acoustic quality. With its impressive sound from days long gone, its exceptional projection and power, and its very comfortable playability, this guitar is a unique and precious heritage for the guitar world.
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:||Birdseye maple|
|Air body frequency:||D#/E|
|Strings:||Knobloch EDC 34.0|