635 mm Scale 50 mm Nut. Original Pegs, later pin bridge, New Bone Nut and Saddle. Original Brass Frets. This has various old repaired cracks. The guitar weighs 968 grams=34.5 ozs.=2 lbs. 2 ozs.
The Soundboard is German spruce, the neck is probably made of Cuban Mahogany. The wood used for the back is Cuban Walnut. The red wood used in the headstock, fingerboard, and back strips appears to be Paduk. The quality of woods chosen suggests either fine tone woods were hard to come by in Havana, or that is was made to be more affordable, perhaps a necessity in Havana at the time. While the bridge with its pins does not appear to be original (not being in the style of makers in Cadiz) but probably dates from the 19th century.
Francisco Guerra Flores was born in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz around 1828, and was a son of José Maria Guerra Rodríguez. In 1835, the family moved to Cádiz . He seems to have apprenticed with his father, but may have worked with his brother-in-law, Diego Costa, who was working in the 1840s with his father. Several addresses are associated with him. He was with his father at calle del Pasquín 11 (1839) and at the Cuna Vieja, 181 (1844-1845) where Diego Costa was also living. During this period he also worked as at carpenter. In fact, he does not seem to have started building under his own label until after 1850. In 1850 he lived on the Calle de San Juan, 73; and in 1851 had a workshop on calle de Jardinillo, 103. In 1855, he moved his workshop to calle Cobos 74, but it moved again in 1856 to calle Bilbao, 1. In 1865, he again moved his workshop to calle Marqués de Cádiz.
This guitar was made in Havana, after Francisco had left Cadiz, it being the newest of the known examples of his work, the move to Habana, Cuba is not mentioned in the Jose Romanillos biography.
A guitar of his built in 1852 is listed in the collection of Felix Manzanero. (Photo Courtesy of Felix Manzanero)
This biography of Francisco is from the book: "The Vihuela de Mano and The Spanish Guitar" by Jose Romanillos, published in 2004. Fine Fretted String Instruments was asked by Jose in 1999 to supply information to this great lutherie book. Consequently there are 3 pages where we are credited for inclusions of an 1846 Juan Perfumo, 1890's Salvio Morbey and the oldest known Ignacio Fleta business card circa 1925. This last item was from the archives of the Classical Guitar historian from Buenos Aires and author of the well known book that was published in 1930: "Historia de la Guitarra", Ricardo Muñoz (1887-1967).