The Conde dynasty was founded in Madrid by Domingo Esteso in 1915. Esteso trained his nephews Faustino and Mariano Conde Sr. Later, the young Julio Conde joined his brothers.
Domingo Esteso died in 1937, and after that time the three Conde Brothers continued working for Esteso’s widow under the name of “Viuda y Sobrinos de Esteso” (Esteso’s Widow and Nephews) until 1960. In the early 1950s, Julio Conde set up a new handicrafted guitar workshop.
From 1960 until 1988-89 they took over the shop and called themselves “Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso Conde Hermanos” (Esteso’s Nephews, Conde Brothers).
Mariano Sr later established his own shop close to the Royal Theatre, calling it “Conde Hermanos Sucesores Sobrinos de Esteso”. His two sons, Felipe, born in 1957 and Mariano Jr., born 1959, began their apprenticeship with their father and uncle Faustino when they were about 15 years old. Faustino died in 1988 and Mariano Sr. in 1989.
We have scoured the resources of the universe in researching this guitar, including its owner, and one of Australia’s most respected classical and flamenco guitar specialists. Here’s what we know –
This guitar is from the Conde Brothers’ workshop known as Gravina 7 in Madrid, Spain.
It was built in 1967
It has a solid spruce top
Cypress back and sides in “blanco” shade
This lovely and lively Spanish flamenco guitar has been treasured by the same owner since he was 12 years old, when his parents bought it new for him in Sydney in 1967.
From our expert source – “They are great guitars – a bit like the old Gibson J45’s of the flamenco world and often sound as good as the top models. But they are usually easier to play, sometimes having a 650 mm scale (very popular) and slightly narrower neck than the concert model which had a 664 scale and 53 or 54 mm nut spacing.”
This Conde Hermanos Studio has been well cared for, and presents in excellent condition for a 50 year old instrument. There are no cosmetic or structural problems. No repairs, no work required and no issues.
Famous flamenco guitarists such as Paco de Lucía, Mario Escudero, Oscar Herrero, Melchor de Marchena, Andrea Nannetti, Niño Ricardo, Rafael Riqueni, Sabicas, Esteban de Sanlucar, Regino Sainz de la Maza hava all used Conde Hermanos instruments.
Conde Hermanos guitars have also been used by notable players in other styles including David Byrne, Leonard Cohen, Jesse Cook, Al Di Meola, Bob Dylan, Toninho Horta, Steve Howe, Lenny Kravitz, Meiko, Cat Stevens and John Williams.
It is a handsome piece, beautifully made, and very comfortable to play. This is a sweet sounding, hand made, traditional Spanish flamenco guitar from a golden era of guitar making in Europe.
Comes in a later hard shell case in excellent condition.