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 to a hospital in London. Five years later, José Luis Romanillos, made his first Spanish guitar in London.
In 1970, J. L. Romanillos set up a guitar-making workshop in the village of Semley, Wiltshire, encouraged by the English guitarist Julian Bream. Romanillos’ guitars have received an international recognition from guitarists for their sound quality as well as for their aesthetical appearance. 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”.
J. 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 in 2002 a dictionary of stringed-instrument makers and guitar-makers of Spain titled “The Vihuela de Mano and the Spanish Guitar”.
This guitar, named “La Compañera”, was built in 1993 by José Luis Romanillos and is wearing the number 91. It was made for Pepe Romero which is documented in pencil in the inside of the top. The guitar’s fine spruce top is featuring extensive “Bear claws”. Back and sides are made of thoroughly selected cypress and the guitar is in almost perfect condition! It is having no cracks nor repairs and has its original French polish finish. This instrument has an incredibly rich and delicate sound. It opens endless colours and expression possibilities that emphasize musical dynamics. It is really a guitar to play thoroughly and take the time to discover. The cypress back and sides are giving a great spontaneity to the top’s response. The long and clear sustain of the singing first string is an undeniable proof of the immense skills, craftmanship and wood knowledge of Romanillos. We are absolutely delighted and honoured to offer this prodigious masterpiece in our showroom and are sure that any guitarist would be seduced from the first note on.
The tuners are made by Rodgers. Accord case included.
|Back and sides:||Cypress|