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Pedro Antonio Chemena in Barcelona (-1850)

Inventor of the Tornavoz in 1832

by: Randy Osborne - Published 04/19/2022 8:32 PM and updated 09/08/2023 2:46 PM

In 1841 the workshop of Pedro Antonio Chemena was located at: Plaza de San Sebastian No. 35 in Barcelona. See the Guitar label at the bottom of this page, it states that he was the inventor of the Tornavoz.

In the daily newspaper: "Diario de Barcelona": Año 1832, no. 059 (28 feb. 1832)

It was announced on February 28, 1832 that Pedro Antonio Ximena in Barcelona had a guitar with a new invention, the Tornavoz. It doesn't say: "su proprio invencion" (his own invention), but it is the earliest known mention in print, having found the 1842 listing with his name in it just last week.

Full translation: "In the store of Pedro Antonio Ximena, guitar maker, who lives on calle Rambla, house number 24, in front of the PP Trinitarios church, there are for sale guitars, violins, and other string instruments and a guitar with a tornavoz a new invention. In the same store the mentioned instruments are rented and repaired and they make billiards and cues at equitable prices."

In the daily newspaper: "Fr. Gerundio". 30/1/1842, on January 30, 1842

It mentions: "a guitar with pegs of a new system and two others with tornavoces by Antonio Xemena."

In the daily newspaper: "Diario constitucional de Palma" (1839) 8/4/1843 página 4.

It is stated on April 8, 1843 that he is the inventor of the guitar with a tornavoz.

Translation: "Pedro Antonio Chemena, a native of Palma, Mallorca, Professor and inventor of guitars, with a tornavoz and all the classes of string instruments, in which the distinguished person has been absent from the island for 14 years (since 1829), always deserving approval by the best professors of Spain, besides having been awarded by Her Majesty the Queen Isabela II of Spain and by the Conservatories of the Arts; puts the knowledge to all the citizens and foreigners that they have in, who has his store on calle de la porteria de Santo Domingo number 7, for the aficionados to his profession who can honor him, who promises to serve them with the best favoritism. He also has in the said store a great supply of violin bows and bridges of different qualities, cuerdas romanas (strings made in Rome) of superior quality of the country and silver bass strings of all species, all at affordable prices."

In the daily newspaper: "Diario de Barcelona": Año 1843, no. 010 (10 enero 1843)

It was stated on January 10, 1843 that Pedro Antonio Ximena was awarded a Bronze Medal for being involved in the latest public Artisan exposition of products of the Industry of Spain in Barcelona, 1 received a Gold Medal, 3 received Silver Medals, 3 received Bronze Medals and 5 got Honorary Mentions for their artistic efforts as well. This is mentioned in the April 1843 article.

In the daily newspaper: "El Constitucional" (Barcelona). 11/1/1843

It was stated on January 11, 1843 that there were awards given in an exact same article by the same author.

In the daily newspaper: "Diario constitucional de Palma" (1839). 4/2/1850

On February 4, 1850 it is stated that in the music house of the instrument maker Pedro Antonio Chemena, he has Strings from Rome for sale.

In the daily "Diario constitucional de Palma" (1839) 9/6/1850 page 4 on June 9, 1850 is the mention that he has passed away and now his widow runs the workshop. The widow has relocated to calle Peraires, entering on the part of calle San Nicolas, no. 10, where they fabricate guitars, all qualities of sausages and silver plated bass strings, and sell strings at all moderate prices, and that they also sell violin first strings made in Rome, that are legitimate and not fake. This was added on September 5, 2023.

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