Early Guitars and Vihuela

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Does anybody have images of guitarists, that they will share with me, especially antique prints, engravings or lithographs produced in England from the end of the eighteenth century to about 1835?

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Hello Christopher, it is a long time... Not exactly what you want, but probably of interest. English pastel dated 1799 unusually of a five string guitarist - on my page on this site. Another picture by the same painter was written up by Peter Holman and on the front of Lute News recently. Best wishes, Peter.
Hello Peter! Kind of you to direct me to the Mrs. Bannister image. I do know it, though I had not realised it was a pastel. Thanks for that. I'll chase up the Holman too. Best wishes from the Languedoc, Chris.

Hans, this is very kind of you; as you can tell, I am a beginner in guitar studies (though I have been playing all my life) and I did not know this site. It has many interesting things. I only wish that I were able to help others in this community as they have been helping me these last few days!

I think the time has come to end the long period in which many of us have regarded England as the poor relation in matters of the romantic guitar (hence, for example, the notion that the 'Spanish' guitar did not really get started there until about 1815/20). Prints, lithographs, paintings, newspapers, magazines, poems, plays, reviews and travelogues of 1750-1850 all tell a rather different story that I hope one day to tell.

Comming back to this issue with a new question though still regarding the six stringed guitar in England. I'm interested in knowing if the six stringed guitar was known in the society surrounding ( dont know how to spell that, sorry) Jane Austen. Does anyone knows something.

An interesting question. All Austen's major fiction was written and published at a time when the six-string guitar was well known in southern England, as witness the various tutors published in London during her lifetime, the evidence of scores (eg Zaniboni)  and images such as the lithograph of Mrs. Mountain discussed on this site before. And yet, Austen does not mention the guitar at all, as far as I know. This is quite puzzling. Governesses, for example, had certainly begin to advertise in the papers by now as teachers of the guitar, and Austen is much concerned with that occupation for women. I do not think any of the material I have seen can give a focussed answer to the question, although it is clear from auction lists that guitars were owned by members of the provincial gentry that Austen celebrates. Sorry this is not more helpful.

Thank You for that answer, I think it's rather helpful. The conclusion must be that Austen for certain must have heard and known the guitar, don't You think. What tutors was publish.

Dear Lars,

I think you are right. Stenstadvold, in his catalogue of guitar methods, lists eight methods published in England during Austen's lifetime. I attach the title page of one (1813) which is for six-string guitar. I think I have seen most of the English methods from Austen's day, and this is one of the more interesting given that it is dedicated to a member of the royal family, princess Charlotte, who was certainly a guitarist.


Do You by any chance know where I can get this tutor. This link by the way http://books.google.dk/books?id=Otv_ITA33_EC&pg=RA1-PA305&l...   will take you to an article in an old english newspaper. The article is about princess Charlotte after she died november 6. 1817. The paper is from 15. of november as You can see. It mention her skills on the piano , harp and of course the GUITAR. So she did actually play the guitar. I can see that this method contains som songs. I've recently started a duo with a soprano and lately I've been thinking of trying to get some contact with some of the Jane Austen freaks in England in hope of playing a concert. It would be great to performe these songs. I'm also a bit of a Austen freak myself, well infact I'm actually a bit of a Regency period - freak as well. So if You know anyone or have some contacts please let me know :-) Thanks


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