In this month’s auction, we have a nice variety of unique items. There are over 350 lots from several estates and the auction includes everything from diamond jewelry and gold coins to furniture, collectibles and two rare one-of-a-kind electric guitars. Let’s talk about the guitars we’re selling.
We have a Virgil “Silver Willow” with a serial number 2, and a prototype Teye “Coyote Brand of Gypsys”guitar. I had the opportunity and pleasure to speak with the creators of these magnificent guitars, and both were very gracious with their time.
I spoke with Virgil Mandanici from Virgil Guitars, which is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. He told me the guitar in our auction was the first carved-top guitar he built that he actually sold. He built the “Silver Willow” in 2012 and it was definitely a labor of love. There were only three in the SW series; Diablo, which found a home in Japan, the Dream Catcher, which is in Germany, and the Silver Willow, which is the one we are selling in the auction. He described the Silver Willow as the “Mother” in this series. The previous owner, who has passed away, once stated:
“It is the most exquisite and finely crafted guitar I have ever seen, let alone owned.”
Virgil told me to pay special attention to the inlay work, particularly the dragonfly. He said when you move the guitar around, the dragonfly looks like it’s moving its wings. The exotic woods he used, Cocobolo, Zebra Wood and Padauk were not particularly easy woods to work with, however, rendered a beautiful guitar, both visually and acoustically. You can hear Virgil playing this guitar in the video on the lot page for the guitar. Photo of Virgil by Jeff Fay
I also video chatted with Teye Wijnterp, who is the co-founder and designer of Teye Guitars. He was in his workshop in Seville, Spain. He told me building the “Coyote – Brand of Gypsys” was the rubix cube of electric guitars. This Coyote guitar was acid engraved. When he is building a guitar with hand engraving, his tool of choice is the Dremel. Teye said he used to completely burn up a Dremel every time he made a guitar; thus the motivation for the video you’ll see on our website about Teye.
He gathers inspiration to build his guitars from the Moorish architecture in Seville where he lives. Looking at the shapes and the symbols in the architecture in this beautiful city helps give him new ideas for designing his custom guitars. Here’s what Les Paul – yes THE Les Paul had to say:
“Teye has raised the bar on custom guitars. His instruments not only are beautiful, but their sound and the way they play make them some of the best guitars I’ve ever played.”
Teye spent many years as a guitar player and has played all over the world. His real passion is the Flamenco. The gypsies from Córdoba, Jeréz and Morón de la Frontera taught him the art of the flamenco guitar. When you look at the engravings on his guitars, you understand what he means when he says, “The movements I make when engraving a guitar are derived strongly from the flamenco dance.” Photo of Teye by Amaury Miller
Both of the guitars we are selling are exceptional works of art both visually and acoustically. Please take a few minutes to watch the video presentations on each of these guitars on our website. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guitar player or an art collector…this is a rare offering of both. This online auction will end on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020.