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88/440 Guitar with case, rosewood / pine / mother-of-pearl / mahogany / metal / leather, Louis Panormo, London, England, 1822. Click to enlarge.

Guitar and case made by Louis Panormo

This guitar, was made by one of the leading guitar makers of the first half of the nineteenth century, Louis Panormo. Dating from 1822 the guitar is an early example of Panormo's work and shows several innovative design features including the adoption of Spanish fan bracing under the soundboard. This feature, found on many modern guitars, allowed a more supple movement of the soundboard to help project the sound than did the more traditional ladder bracing used by most central and northern …


Object No.


Object Statement

Guitar with case, rosewood / pine / mother-of-pearl / mahogany / metal / leather, Louis Panormo, London, England, 1822

Physical Description

Guitar, Louis Panormo, London, 1822.

Rosewood body with black and white purfling and pine or spruce soundboard which has been clear varnished and is inlaid with mother-of-pearl on the bridge and around the soundhole. Soundboard has five fan braces with a sixth coming off the fifth brace on the treble side with all extending to the edges of the soundboard. The span of the braces, between first and last brace, is narrowly set. Mahogany neck with maple head with concave top and six side-mounted brass machine heads by Rance; 18 frets; rosewood fingerboard. Includes leather case.


Labelled: Panormo Fecit/ London 1822.

G.Rance on machine heads



950 mm


275 mm


100 mm



Part of the Tony Morrison Collection. It is not known how long this guitar has been in Australia. However, Panormo guitars were known in Australia from colonial times and were contemporary to when Panormo was flourishing as a maker in London. A newspaper advertisement in The Australian newspaper in Sydney mentions the sale of "a superior Spanish Guitar made by Panormo" that had recently arrived from England being sold by the merchants Jackson, Barwise and Co. This was advertised on 15 August 1828. (p.2). (Accessed Trove 18/2/2014). The use of the Panormo name in the advertisement, rather than merely 'guitar' or 'Spanish guitar' as had been used in earlier advertisements, could indicate a growing awareness in the colony of a maker of the stature of Panormo and the quality of his instruments.

It is also known that members of the Panormo family were known to have visited Australia during the nineteenth century. An individual with a particular relationship with Louis Panormo was George Carter who was sentenced in 1836 for stealing stable equipment, saddles etc from Louis Panormo and was transported to Australia for 7 years aboard the ship 'Norfolk' and granted a Ticket of Leave in 1841 in the Port Phillip area near present day Melbourne.

Michael Lea
Curator, music & musical instruments
February, 2014


Credit Line

Purchased 1988

Acquisition Date

9 June 1988

Cite this Object


Guitar and case made by Louis Panormo 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 June 2022, <>


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