For sale: DOMINGO ESTESO 1929
Domingo Esteso, born in San Clemente de Cuenca in Madrid in 1882, is one of the great historical figures in the history of the flamenco guitar. Upon the death of Ramirez in 1916 both Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso were working at the Ramirez workshop. They both kept on making guitars for the widow of Ramirez adding their initials to the labels.
Later on in 1917 Domingo Esteso openend his own workshop at calle Gravina 7 together with his wife Nicolasa Salamanca who applied the finish to the guitars. This period was Domigo Esteso his best period. One can still find some flamenco guitars of this period, still played and enjoyed today. Because of the high costs of these guitars and the economic situation in Spain during that period, many of these guitars were sold in Argentina having the label of the local dealer ‘Romero y Fernández’ of Buenos Aires. In 1926, Esteso’s nephew Faustino Conde joined the workshop of Domingo Esteso as did Mariano Conde in 1929. Both Faustino and Mariano Conde learned the craft of guitar making from Domingo Esteso. They stayed with him until his death in 1937 during the Spanish civil war. It is so unfortunate that Domingo Esteso died of a respiratory infection due to the unavailability of penicillin in those days. Guitar construction continued until 1939 but on a very small scale due to the civil war. After the civil war, the brothers continued to use the label ‘Viuda y Sobrinos de Esteso’ (‘Widow and nephews of Esteso’) out of respect for their aunt, Nicolasa Salamanca, keeping it until her death in 1959. It was during this period that Julio, younger brother of Faustino and Mariano, joined the workshop. The three of them continued working in the tradition of their uncle, introducing only minor changes, principally to the template used to construct the guitars. By 1953 they had designed a new headstock for their first-class guitars. This subsequently came to be known as the media luna (half moon) and they used it interchangeably with the traditional shape designed by Domingo Esteso. They also began designing new rosettes. This period was characterized by the great tonal warmth of their guitars, a resulting of combining tradition and continuous efforts to improve sound quality and volume driven by Mariano Conde Salamanca. Prominent among the professionals who played these guitars were Regino Sainz de la Maza, Alirio Díaz, Quintín Esquembre, Manolo de Huelva and many others. In 1957 they opened the Pozuelo De Alarcón workshop, which eventually came to have a staff of five. With the death of Nicolasa Salamanca, the brothers at first opted to use the name ‘Sobrinos de Domingo Esteso/Conde Hermanos’, later on changing it to ‘Hermanos Conde/Sobrinos de Esteso’.