1802 Carlo Guadagnini

Turin, Italy

The Guadagninis of Turin were principally famous for their violins. The most notable among  them, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, sits in the pantheon of the great violin makers  with Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù.

Date 1802
Location Turin, Italy
Length of Guitar 893mm
String Length 640mm
Upper Bout Width 210mm
Waist Width 164mm
Lower Bout Width 270mm
Side Depth at Waist 92mm
Soundboard: Spruce | Back: Maple | Sides: Maple | Details: Fitted with fixed bone frets.

Performance Video

When Giovanni died in 1786, he was succeeded by his two sons, Gaetano I (1750–1817) and Carlo (1768–1816), who carried on the family tradition of violin making while also crafting guitars. Their workshop focused on string instruments, becoming an important center for the purchase of musical instruments and accessories, and for the restoration and selling of older instruments. Carlo made both five and six-string guitars.  The transition from the mid-eighteenth century five-course guitar (which because of the popular chitarra battente, was not as prevalent in Italy) to the five and six single string configurations, happened within a short space of time, and these makers offered both options.

The 1802 guitar in the Austin-Marie Collection is what one might expect from a violin maker of this period: plain looking with maple back and sides, simple inlays, and a baroque-style tied bridge. It was, however, fitted with fixed bone frets instead of tied gut. It shares commonality with the guitars being produced in Naples at this time, and is very similar in many respects to the first guitars made in London – especially the plantilla and high-set sound hole.