Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 72
COLUMN Guitars with Guts
(TOP CLOCKWISE) The interior top strutting.
Page from the catalog of Celestino Fernández
and Company advertising the various models of
Esteso guitars available for purchase in Buenos
Aires. The label used most commonly by Esteso
for his non-export models sold in Spain.
The neck is the usual Spanish cedar, the
preferred material for Spanish makers due
to its lightness, stability, and ease of carving.
The fingerboard is made of ebony which is the
tip off that the guitar is a deluxe instrument.
Only the most-expensive guitars would receive
ebony fingerboards, which was hard to find in
Internally, the instrument is Esteso's typical
construction, with a fully fan-braced soundboard very similar to Torres, with individual
triangular glue blocks connecting the top and
sides, and a solid bent lining connecting the back
and sides. While many today might view the
interior work as a bit crude, bear in mind that
Esteso did not have power tools, per one of the
conditions set forth by Madrid authorities when
Esteso applied for the permit to open his shop.
Second, the cost of materials was proportionally
very high and makers did not expend labor
frivolously just to impress other makers. Rather,