1954 Robert Bouchet Spruce EIRW

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A glorious and rare instrument from the great Robert Bouchet from 1954 – all original

Description

1954 Robert Bouchet Spruce EIRW

Features

Model 1954 Robert Bouchet Spruce EIRW #26
Condition Very Good Condition – full description below
Scale 650mm
Finish French Polish
Tuners French Silver Plated – Bouchet standard machine
Case Cross Rock 6000 Black Carbon Premium HSC – new

Tone Woods

Top German Spruce
Sides/Back Old EIRW as per the Bouchet standard
Neck Spanish Cedar
Bridge African Ebony
Head Plate Mahogany
Rosette Custom made
Fingerboard African Ebony – Canted
Binding Various and dyed

Measurements

Nut Width 53mm
String Spacings 45mm – 51mm – 58mm (1st – 12th- Bridge)
Overall length 39 3/8″
Body length 19 1/4″
Upper bout 10 3/4″
Waist 9 1/4″
Lower bout 14 3/8″
Body depths 3 7/16″ & 3 5/8″ (upper and lower bout)
Action 4.1mm & 3.4mm
Guitar Weight 3lbs & 5oz.
CITES Not Required – See link to the left

1954 Robert Bouchet Spruce EIRW

Comments

I am so pleased to offer this special, historical instrument built by Robert Bouchet to all of you.

The guitar is clearly special, and well, that should be obvious.  Historically special and certainly investment grade.   She is in very good to excellent condition, with play and voice in abundance.  She can be stored or she could be played.  I would prefer the latter.

First thing to discuss.  Provenance.  This guitar was owned by one individual.  There is a photograph of Robert Bouchet, holding this guitar, signed and addressed to the original owner.  The internal label states 3.2.1954 dating the guitar as of March 2, 1954.  The photograph verifies this information.  It will not  come with the guitar, this to protect the owner’s name.  I will try to scan it, protect the owner’s name, uploading the photograph.  The photograph was just uploaded.  It states, “To my new friend, (original owner’s name), Robert Bouchet, in French, with the date.   It is also handwritten on the back of the photograph.

The guitar is signed by Robert on the back brace, along with the serial number of the guitar, which looks to be #26.

Originality.  Everything is original, as far as my expert investigation is concerned.  Machines, frets, nut and saddle, even the original case (without a handle at this point in time) is available.  I have put the guitar into a new CrossRock 6000 Carbon Black case for its protection.

Please note that it is possible that the machines were replaced with Landstorfer machines.  This was standard practice, as his original machines failed due to inexpensive manufacturing.  I will attempt to verify this in the next few days.  After photography, I am convinced these are the original machines as installed by Bouchet, not the German machines.

I also have now begun to question the Back and Side woods, thinking the possibility of the woods being Brazilian Rosewood.

Brief History of Robert Bouchet.

It is known the Robert Bouchet built 154 guitars in his career.  It is also known that his guitars have come up for public auction a total of 22 times.  All other information I will refer to Wikipedia – please note that it is in French, and can be translated.

Photos will show everything in detail.  Light play wear on the top, some wear of the finish in the upper bout of the back in expected places.

I had to put her on a stand, thus the photography.  I didn’t care for her balance on the photo mat, and well, you can imagine.  Not taking a chance!  LOL  Thus, the photos of her are on the stand.  I spent a good amount of time photographing her from various angles, closeups, etc.  Full transparency, as usual.

There are 2 expertly repaired cracks in the top, upper bout side.  They are stable.  There are 5 cleats installed on one of the cracks, 4 on the other.  There is another cleat at the top bout, treble side, as well as 2 parallel to the rosette, all on the treble side.  I will attempt to photograph the cleats, the best I can manage.  The finish was not fixed, thus, leaving the original finish intact.  I will attempt to photograph these, internally as well.  I spoke with a few luthiers to get their own take on addressing the guitar further.  We all agreed that it was better to leave the guitar as is, rather than risk “anything”, as the issues were previously addressed.  The guitar is easily worked on by a competent and knowledgeable luthier, but this will be left to the discretion of the buyer.

The back and sides are in excellent shape, as well as the neck joint, the set of the neck.  In the photos, I noticed a small fissure on the back, by the butt of the guitar.   Inspection shows that she is stable, not moving, but again, full transparency.

Her setup is superb.  Strung with my normal tension 85lb strings – Savage Classical Guitar Strings

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Allow me to speak of the sound, the musicality, the playability and the overall affect of the guitar, in my own experience, including a subsequent sitdown with the guitar on Monday, January 23rd, 2023.

I say it below, and I’ll say it again.  I did not expect this to be a good guitar.  It had been sitting unplayed for what seemed forever.  It had repairs, which I don’t give much credence to as far as value or sound or whatever negatives you can imagine.  If you look around at older violins, worth way more than this guitar, you might be surprised to see myriad cleats, numbering in the tens to a hundred on any one of these older instruments.  8 or 9 cleats in an old German Spruce top from the 1950’s is nothing, comparatively.  This is what needs to be done to preserve the integrity and the history of an instrument.  In other words, this is generally expected in a 70 year old instrument which was well loved and played.

So, I didn’t really believe it was going to sound good or play well, at all.  I was wrong.  No other way to say it.

I don’t say this because I have it for sale.  Anyone who had dealt with me, talked with me, has learned that I am as straight forward as can be, brutally blunt.  I don’t like a guitar, it does not live here in my gallery.  Simple!  I don’t care who built it, who owned it, etc.  I don’t like it, it goes back.  My job is to protect you, the buyer, the seller, the guitar.  I am meaningless in this process, except to offer the best.

The guitar plays magnificently.  Easy, smooth, little effort.  The neck is straight, the fretboard is canted to the bass side for relief purposes, much like Hauser I.  The action is accessible, fretting is simple, with almost zero buzz.

The sound is to put it simply, glorious.  Sustain, voice, sing, growl, balanced in her ranges.

Inspiration.  Here is the thing.  I played this guitar, again, this evening, for about a half hour or a little more.  I found myself channeling Julian Bream.  Those who are familiar know him as one of the most musical players of any generation.  No forcing the music, seeminly effortless, soft and delicate, playing the music for the sake of the music, nothing else.  This guitar inspired the Bream in me, whatever tiny speck of him resides within me.  I did not want to put the guitar down, but felt the need to relay my experience on the fly, as it were.  The guitar is without a doubt, a Bouchet, clearly influenced by the great Hauser, with an elegance and grace that is wholly enviable, that which is seemingly unattainable to the majority.  I could go on, but I will stop here.  She is glorious in her voice, her play, wholly inspiring.  This is what a guitar is supposed to do to a guitarist  Inspire them!

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The guitar is here in my gallery.  I have played her, photographed and inspected her thoroughly.

The price is usually listed for clarity and transparency.  I am not a big fan of “Please Inquire”, thus not wasting your time, but in this case, given an open bidding structure via email/phone, there are certain strict conditions, as detailed below.  This, to protect the integrity of the offering, those of other bidders and the owner of the guitar.  The guitar is special, thus being treated with the utmost care.

  • The guitar’s price is non-negotiable. There is a minimum reserve set, as per the seller and Savage Classical Guitar.
  • Proof of funds will need to be provided to Savage Classical Guitar.
  • All transactions will happen through bank wire.  Details will be provided upon request.
  • There will be NO trades accepted.
  • The guitar will NOT be shipped, under any circumstance.
    • It can also be personally delivered (at cost of transportation, flight, charges, driving time, etc) or
    • You are free to schedule an appointment with me at the gallery to inspect and pick up the guitar personally.
  • There is an existing reserve price on this instrument.  That reserve must be met, otherwise all offers will be null and void.
  • I will do you the courtesy of providing the highest bid that is vetted at the time of your bid.
  • This listing and or bidding process will end at my discretion and that of the owner.  Our timeline is approximately the end of February 2023, but may end sooner.
  • Thank you kindly in advance for your patience, understanding and consideration.

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Media

Listening with high quality headphones or audio equipment is highly recommended including EQ manipulation, if possible. We record everything flat with just a touch of Reverb to relieve dryness. My goal is to record the guitar as realistically as is possible. I speak in the recordings, my thoughts about the guitar (and possibly other things?).  My speaking also serves to give you my first impressions and to also give you a balance of the engineering (or lack thereof) versus the sound of the guitar.  I simply do not have time to engineer much of anything.  Thanks. Rich

MP3 Audio – 230119-1954 Robert Bouchet Spruce – I will tell you that I have played the guitar, after cleanup, fret polishing, new strings (my Normal Tension 85lb string, which was a perfect choice).  I was, as bluntly as I can say it to you, not expecting much.  I was wrong.  It is magnificent, singing, balanced, nuanced.  I am amazed that such a guitar came from a man that had zero training, just decided one day, huh, I’m a going to build a guitar.  Really?  LOL

——————

My Solo Book of sheet music is available here if you’re interested.

Richard F. Sayage – Solo Guitar Works Volume 1

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Video

 

Shipping

Premium Single Arch Top or Double Arch HSC is included in your purchase price.
Delivery costs are not included in the final settlement price.  Delivery must be in person or picked up by the buyer.

Very Important:  International Clients, including Canada…Please note that we will NOT accept PayPal or any CC as payment.  All transactions must be finalized with Bank Wire Transfers for any amount over $1000 USD. Please see our discussion found here and scroll down to Customs – Duty and International Shipping .  Thank you!

It is always preferred that you come to the Studio to play it and pick it up.  Rich

Warranty

This classical guitar carries NO warranty as the guitar is Pre-Owned

Please read my Return Policy – this policy is not applicable in this particular sale.  Please be aware of this.  Returns are not possible.

Please inquire using email or phone (Contact Me)

Email me directly if you need more info: rich@savageclassical.com

Additional information

Weight 15 lbs
Dimensions 45 × 18 × 8 in

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