Classical X-braced guitar with birds-eye maple back and sides and spruce top. Scale-length 640mm.
This guitar was commissioned by Lydia Sanderson with the brief that it should be built from pale timber, have some femininity about it and look pretty in addition to playing easily and sounding good. Therefore I eschewed my usual geometric, masculine motifs and designed a flower and leaf mosaic pattern for the central motif of the rosette, which is also inlaid down the centre of the back and end-block. I chose an attractive birds-eye maple for the back and sides and made pretty mother-of-pearl and ebony inlays for the rosette, purfling, head and bridge. The binding of snakewood is also very decorative, and is echoed in the rosette, head and bridge tie-block inlays. Lydia reluctantly had to sell it some time later (it is now owned by Marten Matthews), but subsequently ordered another guitar from me, which you can see here.
Fitted with a beautiful set of Rodgers (L500) tuning machines.
This guitar has a beautiful tone with a deep bass and good volume, and is easy to play.
Lydia Sanderson wrote," My guitar is a daily source of joy. It smells divine and it feels like a dream. The sound has a precise richness that is new and those bass notes go through me."
Marten Matthews, the current owner, writes,
Your guitar remains the best that I have played.
12/99 has a really full sound with vast amounts of lower tone. However, somehow the upper frets sound extraordinarily bright without any brittleness in the sound, which works so well with those pieces that take the music above the 10th fret. Genuinely, it’s the only guitar I know of where my playing errors sound so good! Putting the fabulous sound to one side, it was commissioned & designed for Lydia & is an extraordinarily beautiful instrument. It is widely admired whenever it comes out of its case as one of the most beautiful of guitars (including when I attended West Dean's IGGF) by guitarists from around the globe.