Pre Civil War Spanish Makers click for more
When I talk about "Pre War" for Spain, I mean pre Spanish Civil War, another of the precursor events to WWII (during which Spain was neutral).
José Serratosa Soprano
Vincente Tatay Soprano
It is not uncommon, particularly in Europe, to see pre Civil War Spanish Ukuleles, Spain at this period was the home of the "Spanish Guitar" so there were plenty of luthiers and factories plying their trade and a lot of European distributors included Spanish instruments as part of the catalogue, (for example Beare & Sons 1932 catalogue lists 4 Spanish made Ukuleles, but no information beyond they are Spanish). Sometimes they have a paper label inside the sound hole giving the name of the maker, but not always. A lot of the Spanish Ukuleles look more like Guitaricos (and may well have originally been built as such), with golpeadores and saddleless bridges, but the problem is there is not a lot of information on them like the size of the workshop or the quantity or quality of manufacture? Any help would be great.
José Serratosa (Blanch)
From Barcelona where he opened a workshop in 1890 and worked until his death in the 1930's. He was probably most famous for making Guitars with detachable necks!
Probably the most famous of the pre war Spanish makers, he was working in the early part of the 20th century out of Valencia. He made a full range of instruments including Guitars and the Iberian range of Chordophones, as well as making Ukuleles, (or the Spanish Guitarrico type versions of them). Salvador died in 1920 but the business was continued by his sons until 1935 when the workshop was destroyed in the Spanish civil war. Salvador himself is remembered today as first person to make a double neck Guitar, but the name also lives on because these were the people who supplied Hoshino Gakki in Japan with Guitars prior to their destruction, and who's name Hoshino then took when founding Ibanez Guitars
(Hijos de) Vicente Tatay
Vicente Tatay was a guitar maker in Valencia who opened his workshop in 1889 (or 99? I have seen both as foundation dates and his father may have opened a workshop called Tatay in 1861). He took his sons on to help him, (he had 8 sons and 1 daughter), and then more staff until the workshop was transformed into a factory, continuing to grown into a major factory producing some 40,000 instruments a year. Vicente Tatay retired in 1942, and the firm was taken over by 7 of his sons, (One, Andres Tatay Tomas, had emigrated to the US and started his own workshop in New York), who renamed it "Hijos de (Children of) Vicente Tatay". Vincente senior died in 1950 and another of the sons, Vincente jnr.left to start his own workshop called Vicente Tatay Tomas. The main factory finished in 1979 but Sons who had left both kept going with the US branch going on through grandsons and finally closing in 2003 and the Valencia offshoot having Vincente jn, finishing in 1999 but the story doesn't end there as in 1989 another grandson Jose Tatay Cuenca (a son of Jose Tatay) opened his workshop on calle Zapadores 31, Valencia and is still in business and using the family name. When the main factory was in operation, in addition to Guitars they made all kinds of Spanish folk instruments like Bandurrias, Lauds and Guitarron/Ukuleles. I don't know if any of the offshoot workshops produced any Ukuleles?
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