Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Josef Pagés 1813

Jonathan Bouquet MIMEd Curator, St Cecilia's 

Early last week I was in the Music Museum of St Cecilia's Hall, University of Edinburgh, for my appointment to study their Josef Pagés guitar.

Former St Cecilia's curator Darryl Martin had told me this was an interesting and important guitar.  Since Pagés was an early innovator of fan barring I was excited to get a look at what he had done.

I spent a day taking photos, measuring all principle components, making profiles of the top and back and taking notes on construction details that I could not easily photograph.

I had seen the guitar in its display case on previous visits to the museum - but it was even more impressive to see the superb and flawless artistry up close.

Pagés was just as thoughtful and meticulous with the internal construction of the guitar - to those components that effect its acoustical response and structural integrity.

Here is a partial view of one of two sheets of the working drawing that I made during my visit. The lines and lettering are faint because I always use soft lead pencils during my work.

Although this is not suitable for publication I will reproduce a full size version, adding information from my notes, and publish it here as a download.

As a companion to the download the post will include a thorough description of the Josef Pagés guitar with detail photos.

St. Cecilia's has recently undergone an extensive renovation. You can read about it here:  Friends of St Cecilia's .

The Museum and its collection is  also a teaching institution. I worked alone in one of the gallery's small glassed-enclosed teaching rooms visible just to the right in the photo. My visit was on a day when the museum was closed to the public so my only companion was the spirit of St Cecilia.

All photos by the author.


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