Manuel Velázquez?

Geewhizpat
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Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:41 pm

Manuel Velázquez?

Post by Geewhizpat » Sun May 19, 2019 5:01 pm

I have been a musician for 35 years. As a result, my family recently gave me a classical guitar from a 90 year old relative. In an effort to establish a provenance on said guitar I can tell you the following. My relative was a booking agent for People’s Songs in New York (Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte) in the second half of the 1940’s. He purchased this classical guitar at a pawn shop in New York City somewhere between 1945-1949. The pawnbroker told him that the guitar had a pick guard at one time added for a big band performer who used silk and steel lower strings and gut uppers. So I can establish the guitar was made is the 1940’s.
There is a gold label with a music lyre symbol at the top.
On it printed in script in black:
Manuel Velazquez
Fabricante de Guitarras
Calidad Superior
New York City, N.Y.
There are no model references, dates or signatures.
I have ordered an inspection mirror to look for marks or signatures on the inside.

I am not sure if this guitar was an early Velazquez from his shop/dining table in the early 40’s. It could simply be a counterfeit by an apprentice in his shop...but although not as fine as Manuel’s masterpieces of the early 50’s...it has a beautiful voice/tone, clearly hand built well and light as a feather.
I have been dialoguing with Beverly Maher of the guitar salon to help establish a provenance on the guitar. She is on board with many hints. I have also contacted Alfredo Velazquez and Velazquez guitars and have not heard back yet.
I am trying to get as much info established before I have it appraised and do repairs indicated from age to this possibly 70 year old instrument.

Below I have attached some rough pics of the guitar for the general idea. Of course, if requested I would take finer more precise views. It has been suggested it could have been built by an apprentice luthier in the shop like Titi Amadeo...I am not sure.
I humbly ask your help and expertise in this matter of identifying this guitar. I want to establish a value for insurance, if it is warranted and have various jazz guitarists record tracks with it in my studio.
Thank you for your time in this matter.
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Last edited by Geewhizpat on Sun May 19, 2019 10:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

singlechange
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:22 pm
Location: Washington, D.C. metropolitan area

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by singlechange » Sun May 19, 2019 7:27 pm

Keep in mind that a vintage featherlight classical guitar is best stored with the strings loosened when not being played regularly. Most classical guitars owners watch out for dry air conditions but a lightly built guitar such as your Velazquez should not be left out in high humidity room for too long also.
Welome to the forum, geewhizpat.
Looks like you got yourself a nice historical Velasquez guitar.

Geewhizpat
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:41 pm

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by Geewhizpat » Sun May 19, 2019 9:37 pm

Yes...I am aware and it was done...these pics where taken at my relative’s house...I have several Martins in humidity controlled studio...After loosening the strings I explored the interior with a lighted inspection mirror to count struts and look for other markings...alas no more clues...but will update if I hear back from the Velazquez family...thank you for the sweet comment of a “nice historical Velasquez guitar”...I sure hope so.

Geewhizpat
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:41 pm

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by Geewhizpat » Sun May 19, 2019 10:13 pm

Thank you all for helping work the photos for your view...a newbie at your forum

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petermc61
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by petermc61 » Sun May 19, 2019 10:15 pm

It would also be worth contacting Richard Brune - he is extremely knowledgeable and might be able to help.

Geewhizpat
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:41 pm

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by Geewhizpat » Sun May 19, 2019 10:38 pm

Thank You Peter...

SteveL123
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by SteveL123 » Mon May 20, 2019 12:19 am

Your guitar has 20 frets. Here is a 1976 Manuel Velazquez for sale with 19 frets
https://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/ ... z#p1339219

Did Velazquez use 20 frets on his early guitars then abandoned it and use 19 frets on his later ones?

Geewhizpat
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 11:41 pm

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by Geewhizpat » Mon May 20, 2019 12:35 am

Great question Steve...still waiting for more info from experts and Velazquez guitars

Jack Douglas
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 2:37 am
Location: Ashland, Va

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by Jack Douglas » Mon May 20, 2019 12:55 pm

Alfredo Velazquez is on Facebook which might be the best way to contact him. Manuel passed away several years ago. If I recall correctly, Manuel made his first guitar in 1946. Manuel was recognized by the Guild of American Luthiers; I don’t remember the year. They would be a good information resource.
One of Delcamp’s members, Riffmeister, is as knowledge as anyone I know about Manuel Velazquez guitars.
At one time during his career he became so busy that he set up a workshop, in which he hired others to perform a variety of tasks related to his guitar building. I don’t know much about how that worked nor the years involved. It sounds like your instrument was built in the workshop setting.
Good luck with search.
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

riffmeister
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:15 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by riffmeister » Mon May 20, 2019 8:25 pm

Geewhizpat wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 5:01 pm
I have been a musician for 35 years. As a result, my family recently gave me a classical guitar from a 90 year old relative. In an effort to establish a provenance on said guitar I can tell you the following. My relative was a booking agent for People’s Songs in New York (Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte) in the second half of the 1940’s. He purchased this classical guitar at a pawn shop in New York City somewhere between 1945-1949. The pawnbroker told him that the guitar had a pick guard at one time added for a big band performer who used silk and steel lower strings and gut uppers. So I can establish the guitar was made is the 1940’s.
There is a gold label with a music lyre symbol at the top.
On it printed in script in black:
Manuel Velazquez
Fabricante de Guitarras
Calidad Superior
New York City, N.Y.
There are no model references, dates or signatures.
I have ordered an inspection mirror to look for marks or signatures on the inside.

I am not sure if this guitar was an early Velazquez from his shop/dining table in the early 40’s. It could simply be a counterfeit by an apprentice in his shop...but although not as fine as Manuel’s masterpieces of the early 50’s...it has a beautiful voice/tone, clearly hand built well and light as a feather.
I have been dialoguing with Beverly Maher of the guitar salon to help establish a provenance on the guitar. She is on board with many hints. I have also contacted Alfredo Velazquez and Velazquez guitars and have not heard back yet.
I am trying to get as much info established before I have it appraised and do repairs indicated from age to this possibly 70 year old instrument.

Below I have attached some rough pics of the guitar for the general idea. Of course, if requested I would take finer more precise views. It has been suggested it could have been built by an apprentice luthier in the shop like Titi Amadeo...I am not sure.
I humbly ask your help and expertise in this matter of identifying this guitar. I want to establish a value for insurance, if it is warranted and have various jazz guitarists record tracks with it in my studio.
Thank you for your time in this matter.
Looks like it could be similar to the guitar in this picture which I believe is from the 1940's of Manuel presenting one of his instruments to a potential client.

To the best of my knowledge, it wasn't until the 1960's at which time there was increased demand for his instruments that Manuel had assistants/apprentices helping with the production of his guitars. And that did not last long......maybe 4 years.
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zavaletas
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Location: Tucson

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by zavaletas » Wed May 22, 2019 4:38 pm

I would loose those strings-- and hope that these steel strings haven't caused structural damage to the top.

James
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

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petermc61
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by petermc61 » Thu May 23, 2019 1:42 pm

Deleted

SteveL123
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Re: Manuel Velázquez?

Post by SteveL123 » Thu May 23, 2019 1:45 pm

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