GUITAR MANGORÉ, REPLICA OF THE GUITAR OF JOSÉ RAMIREZ I THAT BELONGED TO AGUSTÍN BARRIOS
It was in 1911 when Carlos Trapani and Martín Borda y Pagola, mecenas of Agustín Barrios, Mangoré, gave him as a precious gift a guitar built by José Ramirez I. It is said that on a trip he made in Uruguay, the guitar fell to a stream, and Barrios rescued it from the water and when it dried up he continued playing it. There is another version according to which the guitar fell into a well, be that as it may, it did not discourage the artist because he continued playing it as if nothing had happened.
After going through several hands, this guitar was finally traced and acquired by Margarita Morselli, director of the Cabildo de Asunción, to enrich the heritage of the Paraguayan nation, which they exhibit as one of their most precious treasures at the Casa de la Música in Asunción, presiding over the entrance in an urn where every visitor is the first thing they see when entering the museum.
I had the honor of seeing this legendary guitar during my visit to Asunción in November 2014, when Luz Borja took me to the Casa de la Música to see it, which was very exciting for me, not only because it was the work of my great-grandfather, but for the added value that it had been played by a guitar genius like Agustín Barrios. I made that beloved guest trip to the first edition of the Guitar Forum held in Paraguay, and I offered to repair the flaws that the instrument had, respecting, of course, the dedication of Mangoré written on its cover, but Margarita Morselli did not get the indispensable permission to bring it to our workshop in Madrid as she would have liked.
Almost six years later we have reproduced that guitar using the templates of the original Tablao model designed at the beginning of the 20th century, corresponding to Barrios’ guitar. Of course we have not reproduced his dedication, as is natural, but the guitar is the same, with its spruce top and its rosewood back and sides and the intricate design of its mother-of-pearl rosette, as an initiative of my nephews Cristina and Enrique, being Enrique who built the first copy following the parameters of his great-great-grandfather, José Ramírez I.