Vintage Classical Guitars

Manouk Papazian
Manouk Papazian, USA
"V" Virtuoso Concert Model
Materials: spruce/CSA
Year: 1970
Condition: Pre-Owned
Status: Not for Sale
Overview: Manouk Papazian was one of four makers of traditional classical guitars of exceptional quality who lived and worked in New York City circa. 1950/1980 - the other three makers being Eugene Clark, David Rubio, and Manuel Velázquez.

Papazian was born in 1914 in Smyrna, Turkey into an Armenian family. He began his artistic career as a boy designing rug patterns for a local factory. He and his family soon fled Turkey, however, to avoid the Armenian Genocide of 1914-1923. Before immigrating to the USA in 1956 he lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Thought to be self-taught he learned to make classical guitars, violins, violas, lutes, and various other string instruments while in Buenos Aires .

Guitar maker David LaPlant has theorized that "Papazian was influenced by the great guitars of Manuel Ramírez, Domingo Esteso, and Santos Hernández that he most likely had a chance to see and inspect when he was in Buenos Aires and when he started to build guitars for a dealer there."

After arriving in New York City Papazian's reputation as a world class classical guitar maker grew to such renown that as others have recounted and James Greenberg writes:

"Under the category of what might have been, Julian Bream liked Papazian guitars, and visited his shop several times, trying to convince Manouk to give him a guitar-- Manouk, not the business man that Manuel Ramirez was when he gave a young Segovia a guitar-- refused. Had he not, his name would doubtlessly be included among names such as Bouchet, Rubio, and Romanillos."

Description: The magnificent concert instrument shown here is Papazian's "V" (Virtuoso) Model, his finest creation. It features his rarest old growth materials, a symmetric Torres-like seven fan bracing system, a lovely thin ribbon of mosaic marquetry surrounding the soundboard's parameter, and Papazian's name tastefully inlaid into the guitar's distinctive rosette, the design of which recalls traditional Turkish rug motifs similar perhaps to those he worked with as a boy. John Holmquist, Jeffrey Van, Daniel Estrem, Robert Sullivan, and others concertized and recorded with Papazian guitars. Paperwork signed and dated by the maker accompanies this instrument.

HEAR John Holmquist's legendary performance of Couperin's Tombeau de Mr. Blancrocher recorded with his 1968 "V" Model Papazian guitar, a wonderful example of these guitars' pure elegant musical sound, harmonic balance, excellent separation of voices, and extended range of dynamics, color, and attack,

Materials: Swiss spruce soundboard with haselfichte (bear claw) figure covering the entire top, nearly black perfectly quarter sawn straight grain CSA rosewood sides and back, ebony fingerboard, mahogany neck, mosaic rosette with Papazian's name inlaid within the design, custom nickel-silver Rodgers tuning machines (a recent upgrade) with oval bone buttons and cream colored string rollers with bearing bushes, 650mm string length.
L. to R. Manuel Velazquez, Alexander Bellow, Manouk Papazian