Inseparable… Barrios and the Guitar. Part 3

Soon after departing the company of the Salamoni family, Barrios and his wife traveled to Madrid with 6 months of living expenses provided to him by Ambassador Salamoni. He then purchased 2 guitars in the Esteso workshop at #7 Gravina which would stay with him until the end of his life, a fine concert model made in 1935 by Domingo Esteso

And a guitar labeled “Andres Morant” address 56 San Vicente, Valencia Espana, made by luthier Ricardo Sanchis Nacher.

Esteso and Sanchis had a long relationship, and the Sanchis guitar represented a modest, but entirely serviceable teaching guitar used often by Barrios as evidenced by the many photos of him in the Caribbean and EL Salvador from 1936-1944. The Sanchis “Morant” guitar represents the best preserved of the guitars of Barrios, still retaining the original string action, which is quite low by today’s standard for classical guitars. This guitar resides today in the Guzman Museum in San Salvador, El Salvador, having been sold to the museum by the widow of Barrios along with other articles in October 1944. The Esteso guitar was later sold by Barrios’ widow to Walter Deininger in 1946, next passing into the hands of Benjamin Cisneros, a discipulo of Barrios, and from there into private hands, after being irreparably damaged during the Civil War in El Salvador.

Additional instruments attributed to Barrios may still exist, however I have not been able to personally inspect and document these instruments. Guitars from the workshops of Rodolfo Camacho and Romeo Digiorgio have been documented in the writings of Richard Stover and in photos and printed materials related to Barrios.

The absolute rarity and artistic beauty of these instruments has inspired me to make copies of these guitars available from my workshop for guitarists who would like to have the Barrios experience.

I would like to express my appreciation to Richard Brune and family of Evanston Illinois USA, Carlos Salcedo of the Centro Projectos Barrios-Mangore in Asuncion Paraguay, the Cabildo Museum and it’s director Margarita Morselli in Asuncion Paraguay, Jorge Gross Brown of Asuncion Paraguay, Edgardo Quintanilla of Sherman Oaks California USA, Dr. Jorge Sanabria of San Salvador El Salvador, the David Guzman Museum of San Salvador El Salvador, Chris Erwhich of Scheidam, the Netherlands, Dr. David Levin and family of Chicago Illinois, Richard Dwight Stover, and the National Library in Valencia Spain for their invaluable assistance in the research into the guitars of Barrios.


Federico Sheppard

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