Early Guitars and Vihuela

A network for historic guitars and vihuelas

I have added a list of 297 guitar builders between ca 1770-1850 on my page. Not complete of course... If someone has information about a guitar builder not on the list please let me know.
I also have pictures for most of the dated instruments mentioned on the list.

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Wow, well done! I've only heard of a small percentage of them. Now do their biographies ;-)

My guitar have an iron mark "Rémy, à Limoges" (Limoges is a France city) Was Rémy a maker (Mirecourt school) or just a shop name ?. The guitar is typical french school, 1800 (more or less 5 years)


Here is the mark (see file)

Here is one photo on my page


(with other, and of the other romantic I have, anonymous Italian from around 1820...)



There are two Rémy that could match :

REMY (Mathurin-François) and REMY (Jean-Mathurin). (son of the first)

From Mirecourt but working in Paris, the first one was also making "plucked string" instruments (and could be sold in Limoges shop ???)

according to this site :



Yes there was a whole Remy family, originating from Mirecourt, then going to Paris and other places.

The expert says my guitar is really from 1800 (more or less 5 years) according to the head style, general facture, joint at the 11th fret and other details. The frets on the soundboard are original (bone and ebony). Just the pegs and the pins are newly made.

I have another romantic, probably Italian, around 1820, restaured once in 1903 in Monaco by a violin maker (signing inside the soundboard) and again last year ;-) Nice sounding instrument too...

Some picts on my page.


Hello Hans,

     Do you live near where you can try out the Thomann Baroque guitars?  I need someone to help me try out the guitar before I buy it and I don't mind paying someone for helping me to do this.

    I may not be buying it immediately probably in about a month's time but first I do need find someone who could help me before I decide when to buy.

     Best regards

I have one in my shop for some modifications. Rob McKillop's video was pretty much spot on about it. It's not bad , but at the same time it's not a great instrument. Built well enough but I certainly wouldn't mistake it for something out of Alexander Batov's shop.


t's slated to have a new top put on it. It's pretty obvious the top is quite heavy and stiff. A new nut and thinner strings will not help it. Nor will playing it morning noon and night for months. Most of us would like to believe  that but the fact remains it's pretty stiff and not very resonant.  Because the top is so heavy it actually needs heavier strings to drive it. As it is now it's pleasant enough but very small voiced. If you visit my website in the next few weeks I'll direct you to pictures of the interior as I take it apart.

  If you do decide to buy one , the first thing you can do is replace the strings. The strings are really not good for much except maybe fishing leader. Aside from that it is what it is. Minor changes will not improve it that much.

Thanks Hans, I try and see if I can contact any bavarian member, but how do I know who is a bavarian member?


Hi Young, I've been playing on a Tomann guitar for a couple of months. After changing the strings to Aquilla nylgut, I have an instrument that's OK. I have used it for one performance where I played continuo. First I played with an orchestra consisting of strings (not double bass), flutes, recorders, bassoon, and tambourine. We played Jean Baptiste Lully-March Pour La Cérémonie Des Turcs, and I was strumming the chords. The response from some of audience which I talked with, was that the guitar was heard. I also played Alemande Royalle Robert de Visee with cello and traverso (more plucking than strumming) and it worked well.

Think of the Tomann guitar as a tour into early music on tourist class – It's all right, but not the same as business class. I think you can play on the Tomann guitar for a long time until you feel that the instrument is what limit your playing – at least that's what I feel for my own playing. Only remember to change the strings, and my experience is that it works best with a single stringed first course.


Hello Olav thanks for your response to my question.  Did you buy your Thomann Baroque guitar without trying it out at all ?

      By the way I thought the sixth string ( the base) was supposed to be the single string or have I got it wrong?  Now you said the first string would be a single string.

      Have you tried the real gut strings on your baroque guitar yet?  I was told it was about 4 times more expensive than the Acquila Nylgut strings. How much do they really cost, those gut strings.

      I wonder how the gut strings would sound like on the Thomann Baroque guitar, any member reading this tried them out yet? 


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