José Luis Romanillos Vega was born in Madrid in 1932, where he started his cabinet-making apprenticeship at the age of thirteen. In 1956, he moved to England to work in a hospital in Epsom and a few months later in a hospital in London. Five years later, José Luis Romanillos, made his first Spanish guitar in London.
Encouraged by the English guitarist Julian Bream in 1970, J. L. Romanillos set up a guitar-making workshop in the village of Semley, Wiltshire. Romanillos’ guitars have received recognition for their sound quality as well as for their aesthetical appearance from guitarists worldwide. Pure sound and harmonic balance of the strings are what Romanillos looked for and achieved in his quest of the subtle “Spanish sound”. The Daily Mail has called him “the Stradivari of the guitar” and the Italian magazine Sei Corde “the most important living stringed instrument maker”.
L. Romanillos has given courses on Spanish guitar making in numerous countries as well as lectures and seminars about the organology of the instrument. He has also given lectures on the history and development of the vihuela de mano and the Spanish guitar. In addition, he was a member of the Crafts Council of Great Britain for ten years. He is living in Guijosa, a rural district annexed to Sigüenza in the northern part of the province of Guadalajara in Spain, since 1995. In collaboration with his wife Marian, he published a dictionary of stringed-instrument makers and guitar-makers of Spain titled “The Vihuela de Mano and the Spanish Guitar” in 2002. His son Liam Romanillos is working with José in the family workshop since 1982. Over the 40 last years, father and son built guitars amongst the finest and most sought after worldwide.
This wonderful guitar numbered 856 and called “Sol de Invierno”, or winter sun in English, is an absolutely wonderful instrument. Built in 2013, during José Luis Romanillos’s “Guijosa Period” (1993-2015), it was signed under the soundboard by both father and son. With its four-piece Indian rosewood back, open mature sound, and elegant decoration, it is a rare masterpiece of the late master. Finally, its condition is absolutely stunning as it shows only rare superficial marks, making it a highly collectible guitar in addition to being a fantastic concert instrument.
Check out the presentation video of this specific guitar below in which you will find plenty of extra information about its playability and sound.
|Luthier:||José L. Romanillos|
|Back and sides:||Indian rosewood|
|Air body frequency:||G#|
|Case:||Hiscox Pro II|