Vicente ARIAS 1905 guitar is a nice example of the work of Vicente Arias. He made it when he was at Calle Santa Isabel n°20.
Vicente Arias, born in Alcazar de San Juan, Ciudad Real in 1833, seems to have begun building guitars around 1860. Emilio Pujol relates that around 1878-1879, Francisco Tarrega commissioned Arias to make a small guitar for him that he could carry under his cape to use to strengthen his fingers out of sight. He continued making guitars right up until his death in 1912.
His guitars rivaled those of Antonio de Torres in the elegance and constructional quality. Like many makers, he had a series of shops. In 1889, he lived at Paloma 12. In trade guides 1898-1990, at Paloma 14. In 1903, we find him at Alamo 3, Madrid. In 1905, the year of this guitar he was at Calle Santa Isabel n°20. In 1910, we find him again at Alamo 3; in 1912 at Alamo 10. He died in 1914.
These guitars of Vicente Arias are not common with perhaps 65-70 known to exist today. They were, like this one, quite small in body size and almost everyone seems to be different in terms of decorative detail. Some were very plain and simple and other highly-decorated. Also, they do also vary in body size and plantilla shape, though rarely the size of the modern-day guitar. However, they have a very pleasing and often deep sound.
This Vicente Arias 1905 guitar is very easy to play and is exquisite in the quality of sound. Pegheds facilitate the tuning. The guitar is light around 900g and very responsive. The sides and back are in cypres. The front is in spruce. The maker labeled and dated the guitar.