Very rare and collectable guitar of Manuel de Soto y Solares from Sevilla built in 1872.
This guitar is a close as you can get to a guitar by Antonio de Torres. It looks exactly like an 1863 Antonio de Torres guitar that was featured in Vintage Guitar Magazine – Link: www.vintageguitar.com/3434/antonio-de-torres-1863/
Manuel de Soto y Solares (1839-1906) was born in Sevilla, son of a guitar maker, Manuel de Soto Castañón (b.c. 1818-1878), his grandfathers were also guitar makers. Manuel seems to have started building guitars around 1860, and his shop was on Cerragería near that of Antonio de Torres. In his book, Romanillos on Torres states that Soto y Solares and Torres did some business together.
Makers are constantly buying or trading with one another–woods, parts, etc. and it is also common for established shops to subcontract or buy guitars from other makers, and sell them under their own label. Between 1865 and 1870, Torres was having a hard time making a living at building high-end guitars, and so like nearly every other maker in the 19th century, he had to make cheap “bread and butter” guitars to survive. The intriguing possibility is that there maybe a good number of Antonio de Torres built during his years in Sevilla that may bear a Manuel de Soto y Solares’ label.
What is certain is that Manuel de Soto y Solares enthusiastically adopted Torres style of construction. When Torres went into a temporary retirement and moved to Almeria in 1870, guitarists wanting a Torres style guitar turned to Manuel de Soto y Solares, and he drew important clients such as Juan Breva (1844-1918) who is known to have used a Manuel de Soto y Solares guitar made between 1870 and 1890. What is evident in the guitars know of Manuel de Soto y Solares is that he was a highly skilled artisan.
This nice guitar has a spruce top and cypress back and sides. It has a nut width of 43 mm and a scale length of 580 mm. It is a smaller guitar, similar to the size of many romantic guitars of the time. Headstock and building style is exactly like the Torres guitars made in Sevilla at the time.
The guitar is in need of restoration and we sell it as a project guitar.