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1907 Vicente Arias Castellanos magazine article

Multi-award winning Guitar maker

by: Randy Osborne - Published 08/07/2023 11:48 AM

From the magazine: "El Progreso industrial y mercantil" August 1907, n.º 127 páge 4.

At the age of 74, Vicente Arias saw this magazine article about his artisan efforts become known. Having won awards since 1888 with virtuosos like Francisco Tarrega becoming his patrons, he fulfilled his tasks daily.


"Don Vicente Arias, Guitarist. SANTA ISABEL, 20

It has been many years since the intelligent Mr. Arias is well known as a builder of stringed instruments for us to try to exalt such renowned fame.

His modest but artistic display case barely contains a dozen instruments, he exhibits it only because they remember all his magnificent works, done by himself and without the help or cooperation of any worker.

From Ciudad Real he made himself known in all of Spain, up to Madrid, his current residence (Santa Isabel, 20), is requested by his special construction in the instrumental of guitars, bandurrias and lutes; Say so if not the valiant city of Valencia, and the American Republics themselves, to which the reduced manufacturing that he is able to carry out today is requested and exported, since neither his age nor his physical strength allow him to make the number of instruments that are requested of him.

The most original thing about Mr. Arias is the exclusivity in him to build, since he lacks workers, and from the carving of wood to the last inlay that he does in his work, all, absolutely all, are made by himself.

Among the specimens that he exhibits, there is a guitar built for his use, which, according to highly competent experts, is the most finished that is known.

Until the events of Valparaíso, Mr. Arias specified the manufacture of it in this part of America, from where the demands followed one another, despite the just fame that he acquired throughout Spain.

Suffice it to say that this industrialist does not have legal competition today in his instruments."

In the monthly magazine: "El Progreso industrial y mercantil" of December 1907 n.º 130 páge 20 is the advertisement with the same address of the guitar that we have for sale made in 1906.

As was reported in 4 daily newspapers: "El País" (Madrid. 1887) October 8,1907 páge 5, "El Correo español" October 9, 1907 páge 3, El Globo (Madrid. 1875) October 9 1907 n.º 11.540, páge 2, "El Proteccionista" (Madrid) October 12, 1907 páge 5.

This award became the 1907 medal on the right side of the label. Translation:

"Fourth Group.

Manuel Ramirez, by the excellence of his string instruments, we award First Prize Medallion.

Vicente Arias, by his precious guitars and bandurrias, we award First Prize Medallion.

Alfredo Rodriguez, by strings for musical instruments, we award First Prize Medallion.

Viuda y Hijos de Lahara for instruments of band music, we award First Prize Medallion."

We learn more details of the awards won in October of 1907:

In the daily: "El Globo" (Madrid. 1875) Sunday March 15,1908 n.º 11.676 páge 2. In an article: "Exposicion de Industrias Madrileñas", Manuel Ramirez and Vicente Arias were both awarded Gold Medals, The competition took place in 1907 but the handing out of the awards took place on March 15, 1908. Translation:

"The good guitars Vicente Arias, calle Santa Isabel 20, Madrid. The veteran guitarist Vicente Arias presented in an exposition a laud, two bandurrias and four guitars of Palo rosa and Palo Santo (varieties of Rosewood), that were justly praised by those that had the occasion to admire them.

Vicente Arias has acquired universal fame by the sound and precision of the voices that distinguishes on all of the instruments constructed by him and which are the favorites of the intelligent players.

To the many awards obtained in different Expositions, we add this award, which is a Golden Medallion to Mr. Arias by which he has been acknowledged, and we congratulate him."

"Stradivarius Madrilenian

Manuel Ramirez -- Arabian, 10 Madrid

The Jurist, being the speaker the eminent maestro Breton, awarded the Golden Medallion to Mr. Ramirez for the string instruments that he presented to the contest.

More than a fabricator, Manuel Ramirez is a true artist, who comes dedicating, from many years, preferring to pay attention to the fabrication of bowed instruments; and with such enthusiasm he as worked, that today he can boast to be the only Spanish fabricator who has achieved such a perfection such that his are the favorites of the concert violinists and most demanding and renowned maestros.

The Ramirez violins are such, that they come out of this house to the professors of the Real Capilla and Conservatorio and in general to all the Spanish violinists, and -- why not say? not just a few foreigners, who are the first to praise the most intelligent Madrilenian who fabricates his Stradivarius on the calle de Arlaban."


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