A Special Client

The ornate presentation guitar by Lacote was clearly made for a special client, so it is of great interest that a metal plaque on the back of the head reads: “A. FOUNTAINE Jr.

Narford Norfolk March 1st 1834.” The year cited in this declaration of ownership is the same as on the maker’s label, and the guitar is in mint condition, probably signifying that it was collected and not played. The Fountaines were major landowners in Norfolk; A. Fountaine Jr. was the son of Andrew Fountaine, of Narford Hall, who was the grandnephew of the famous eighteenth-century art collector and Warden of the Royal Mint, Sir Andrew Fountaine (1676–1753). Andrew Fontaine’s string collection included six Stradivarius violins, one of which, from 1712, is still known as Le Fountaine. It’s easy to imagine that one of the world’s wealthiest string instrument collectors would seek out the world’s most famous guitar maker and order his finest model.