Vintage Guitar - October 2017 - open - 74

1880 JULIAN LLORENTE
By R.E. Bruné

A

ccording to the Romanillos dictionary of Spanish guitar makers, Julian
Llorente was born in 1827 in the Madrid suburb known as Pozuelo de Alarcón. Far from the traditional gypsy barrios where most of the city's guitar
makers were born and worked, it's the location of the now-closed training shop
for the Conde Hermanos, which operated in the 1960s at Calle Santiago Maganto.
There are only three known surviving examples of the work of Julian Llorente - a horrific
VINTAGE GUITAR

74

March 2017

rate of attrition considering he was professionally active for at least 49 years. This example
belonged to Miguel Llobet (1878-1938), the
Catalan student of the most famous guitarist
of the 19th century, Francisco Tárrega. Llobet
first met Tárrega in the Barcelona guitar shop of
Ribot y Alcañiz. Llobet was, in turn, extremely
influential in the early development of Andrés
Segovia, who went on to become the most
famous Spanish guitarist of the 20th century,
so Llobet is a pivotal player whose connection between Tárrega and Segovia cannot be
overestimated.
One possible explanation for the poor survival rate of Llorente's guitars may be because
they closely resemble the work of Vicente Arias
(1833-1914) who came to Madrid from Ciudad
Real and worked slightly later than Llorente.
Arias' guitars were played by Tárrega and hence
are nearly as sought-after as those of Antonio
de Torres, so perhaps there are a few Llorente


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