This Nicolas Legros 1835 guitar is a rare and finely made guitar, very much in the style of Lacote, with solid satinwood back and sides, ebony and ivory multiple purflings to the belly. It retains its original fretboard and frets (except the 12th which is a later replacement).
Legros is a publisher of music and luthier to the opera in Paris. He claims to have previously worked for Lacote on his label (see transcription).
The dimensions are string length: 624mm; Length, body: 425mm, max-width: 290mm; the sides are quite deep at 83-90mm and the body overall resembles the slightly larger Lacote model frequently seen the early 1830’s.
The ebony bridge is original, as are the small wood screws that fix it to the original bridge plate. Luthiers use this technique on instruments which stay on hot or humid climates such as the French colonies of the time.
This guitar belonged to the grandniece of the virtuoso violinist, Joseph Joachim, shortly after World War II, when she was in Edinburgh. The Joachim family brought it to Scotland, who immigrated shortly before the war to escape persecution.
This Nicolas Legros 1835 guitar is generally in excellent condition for its age and is fully playable. The neck is straight and the action good. The tone is strong, clear and “nutty” a very attractive and responsive guitar to play.
It has had some repair work to the neck, carried out in England around 1850. The head, which seemed to be based on the original is also English, as were the tuners.
The heel of the neck is solid ebony, fitted to the ebony veneered neck. A small repair in the heel has been filled with ebony and is almost invisible. The dovetail was damaged and was restored. There is a well-repaired crack in the treble side, the back being in good condition and the belly with 4 small, repaired cracks, all in good condition. Ian Watchorn restored this and is in very good condition.