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date: 14 November 2019

Jacob, Richard locked

  • Enrico Weller


(b Markneukirchen, Germany, Feb 11, 1877; d Markneukirchen, Germany, July 17, 1960). German guitar maker, known as ‘Weißgerber’. His father was the guitar maker Carl August Jacob (b 24 June 1846; d 1 Jan 1918), who was connected to the Viennese school of Johann Georg Stauffer via his teacher Johann Friedrich August Paulus (b 15 Sept 1806; d 12 Aug 1870). Richard Jacob was first apprenticed as a zither maker with Ernst Rudolf Glier and was employed in several workshops for plucked instrument making before becoming self-employed in 1905. After his death his workshop was taken over by his son Martin Jacob (b 17 July 1911; d 1 Nov 1991).

In 1921 Richard Jacob began selling guitars independently under the brand ‘Weißgerber’. For such dealers as Gebrüder Schuster, he produced richly decorated salon instruments in the prevailing Viennese style, then in the 1920s he started to develop larger concert guitars of his own design, including the ‘Rekord’, the ‘Münchener Modell’, and the ‘Große Wiener Konzert-Gitarre’. Under the influence of the virtuosi Miguel Llobet and Andrés Segovia, he was one of the first Germans and the first Vogtland master to adopt Spanish designs, resulting in his Torres and Simlicio models. At the same time he was inspired by historical instruments and built various double-strung instruments such as Renaissance and Baroque lutes, and guitars modelled after Joachim Tielke. In the 1940s he began experiments with thinning the soundtable around the edge as in a violin, and with different arching and strutting patterns, resulting in his ‘Strad’ and ‘Große Konzert Solo’ models....

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