Vicente Arias (1833-1914) is, along with Antonio de Torres, one of the pioneers of the Spanish guitar making. His work is undeniably central in the development of the guitar throughout the 19th and 20th century. The refinement of marquetry on his guitars, the diversity, and modernity of their construction, as well as their incredible tone quality, incontestably introduce this guitar-maker as one of the most significant in Spanish guitar history of the 19th century.
Vicente Arias was born in Ciudad Real, in the south of Madrid. Such as Antonio de Torres, he started as a cabinet maker and was self-taught as a guitar maker. He probably started building guitars in 1860 and won many prestigious prizes around the world i.e. Buenos Aires, Madrid, Brussels, and Barcelona. Famous guitarists such as Francisco Tárrega and several of his students played on his guitars.
This instrument was built in 1911 and is a gorgeous example of Vicente Arias’s work. As always, the top and the back are incredibly thin. The guitar is in very good condition with only a few discreet and well-repaired cracks on the back and the sides, and two subtle cracks on the top (one under the bridge and one following the fingerboard on the trebles side). This fine instrument is quite light in weight and truly responsive. It has a very sincere tone and a seductive mellow timbre. The basses are deep and ample and the trebles rich and refined. This charming Arias has a surprisingly great volume and a superb playability.
|Back and sides:||Brasilian rosewood|