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“.
In 1945 the Conde brothers built this superb and very important guitar for Domingo Esteso’s widow. This very evocative year of construction clearly situates the era in which this guitar was built and makes it an absolutely remarkable historical instrument. It is in an impeccable state of restoration and ready to be played. Some cracks on the soundboard as well as several on the back and sides have been perfectly restored. A repair label by Paul Fischer from 1992 is located inside the guitar and indicates that the restoration was carried out by the latter. The shape of the head, as well as the general design of the guitar, correspond exactly to the proportions of Domingo Esteso’s guitars. Also, the rosette is sublime, with a twisted interlacing of red and green. The bridge, faithful to the tradition of flamenco guitars, is very flat and the strings are extremely close to the top. Many “Viuda e sobrinos de Domingo Esteso” stamps are visible inside this guitar, which highlights once again the historical and collectible value of this instrument.
As always with the Spanish flamenco guitars of the first half of the 19th century, this guitar is very lightweight with an immediate and explosive sound. The ease of playing and the responsiveness of the top are unique. Moreover, this guitar has a very particular charm and sensitivity, which was typical for Domingo Esteso guitars of that period.
|Luthier:||Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso|
|Back and sides:||Cypress|
|Air resonance frequency:||F#|