As the old saying goes, “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure” – a cliché that has rarely been as apt following the discovery of a master crafted Ibanez guitar on a rubbish dump in Exmouth.
The instrument, rescued from the landfill for just £5, was delivered to luthier Shaun Newman of Crediton, Devon to be restored to its former glory. He now believes it could be worth as much as £4,000.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Shaun described the guitar as “find of a lifetime”, although he had his work cut out piecing the instrument back together. Life on the tip had not been kind, with the Ibanez sporting numerous cracks with a large split running down the length of its side.
All the hard work was worth it in the end however, and Shaun reports that the guitar is now playing well and sounding great.
“It is what was known as a salon guitar as it is a little smaller than traditional concert classical guitars. They had a sweet sound and were popular for playing at soirees’ and musical evenings in private homes and salons.
I had a look for similar guitars on an internet auction site and there was a similar Ibanez guitar which hadn’t been so well restored and the asking price was £4,000.”
Thought to have been crafted at Salvador Ibanez’s workshop in San Francisco, Valencia between 1898 and 1906, Shaun believes the guitar was originally destined for a player in the Parisian music scene: “the machine heads are brass, which was the fashion in France, which probably means this guitar was meant for the export market.”
Today Ibanez are one of the world’s leading guitar and bass manufacturers, but the man whose name still adorns the company, was successful in his own time too. An innovative practitioner operating at the turn of the nineteenth century, Salvador Ibanez created the world’s first double necked guitar.
The original luthiering workshops were destroyed in the Spanish Civil War, after which the brand was sold to a Japanese entrepreneur. Ibanez is now a truly global brand, and the guitar of choice for famed players such as Eric Clapton, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.
Have you ever had any great discoveries in expected places? Perhaps you picked up a vintage amp from your local charity shop or restored a vintage piano back to full health?