1849 Louis Panormo

London, England

Louis Panormo’s career as Britain’s premier guitar luthier of the nineteenth century spanned nearly five decades. The 1849 Panormo in the Austin-Marie Collection is an example of his later work. The label carries the appellative, “The Only Maker of Guitars in the Spanish Style,” which had graced Panormo’s labels since 1828, the year after the Spanish virtuoso Antonio Huerta had arrived in London following a successful tour of America. Huerta not only became one of Panormo’s best clients but also his son-in-law, marrying Louis’s daughter, Angelina. 

Date 1849
Location London, England
Length of Guitar 950mm
String Length 630mm
Upper Bout Width 240mm
Waist Width 180mm
Lower Bout Width 300mm
Side Depth at Waist 94mm
Soundboard: Spruce | Back: Brazilian rosewood | Sides: Brazilian rosewood | Details: Features Panormo’s signature teardrop bridge and crescent-shaped headstock; tuners by Baker.

Performance Video


The 1849 guitar in this collection was probably made during a short period in the late 1840s when Louis’s Nephew, George Lewis Panormo, ran the workshop. Louis returned in 1850 until his retirement a few years later.

In 1859, at the age of 75 and retired, Panormo embarked on a three-month voyage with his wife and  three of their children bound for Orua Bay, New Zealand. They were later joined by some of his other children who had earlier immigrated to Australia. Louis Panormo died in Orua Bay just three years later.

The 1849 guitar, like many of Panormo’s later models (including those labeled “George Lewis Panormo”), has a four-piece Brazilian rosewood back. It may never be confirmed whether the four-piece configuration was due to the influence of Spanish makers like Pagés, or simply because Panormo’s stock of wood was too narrow for the larger size of his later guitars. The tuners are by Baker, whose high-end machines first appeared on Panormo guitars in the early 1830s. The guitar comes equipped with Panormo’s signature beveled-block pin bridge with teardrop wings and crescent-shaped headstock.