Pons Fils

Lyre-guitar by Pons Fils in Paris from 1804/1805


Very beautiful lyre guitar made by Joseph Pons, known as "Pons fils" in Paris in the year 13, i.e. between September 1804 and September 1805.

In the Pons family, he is the eldest son of César Pons, known as "Pons Père" who lived between 1748 and 1831. The latter is known in particular for his guitar-lyres, but also for his organized hurdy-gurdies including the King of Naples Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, known as Ferdinand IV, was fond of it.

Thus his eldest son Joseph, like his brother Louis-David, apprenticed as luthiers with Nicolas Maréchal, active between 1770 and 1810. The latter also claims the paternity of the invention of the lyre guitar.

And it is therefore natural that Joseph Pons produced lyre guitars from the start of his production, installed in Paris at number 5 Rue du Grand Hurleur, which was certainly the first address of his workshop in the capital.

And it was approximately 7 years after the manufacture of this lyre guitar offered for sale here, that is to say in 1812 the year of the Russian campaign, that Emperor Napoleon I in turn ordered a lyre guitar to Joseph Pons.

The latter was acquired by the Emperor as a gift to his wife, Empress Marie-Louise, who herself donated it to her favorite musician, the Italian composer Mauro Giuliani.

In fact, Joseph Pons enjoyed obvious recognition in his time for his qualities as a luthier and more particularly here concerning his lyre guitars.

Instrument which was also very important in the transition from the so-called baroque guitar with 5 choirs to the so-called romantic guitar with 6 strings.

Here, it is therefore a very beautiful lyre guitar made by Joseph Pons which is presented for sale, bearing his iron mark on the soundboard and its two original labels inside its base under each soundhole.

A rare instrument, especially in this condition, which is remarkably included in the history and therefore the evolution of the guitar so that it becomes the one we know today.

Technical characteristics :

  • Top: Spruce
  • Back: Mahogany
  • Sides: Mahogany
  • Neck: Ebony veneer
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Width at nut: 47 mm
  • Radius: From 7.25" to 10"
  • Frets: 14 frets
  • Scale: 598 mm
  • Profile: C fine
  • Country of manufacture: Paris, France
  • Year: Between September 1804 and September 1805
  • Finish: Natural
  • Decorations: Decorative net at the edge of the table, rosette and background / Decorative eagle heads and decorated reinforcement bars
  • Details: Traces of normal restorations given its age

With a soft, beautifully deep and balanced sound, it will delight both collectors and guitarists driven by the idea of ​​playing on an instrument that is almost 220 years old.

Like all our instruments, this lyre guitar has been completely restored with care and is playable.

It has its certificate of authenticity issued by a specialized expert.

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