Arthur Robb
0044 (0)1666-822945

Restorations of Guitars by Louis Panormo

Nineteen Louis Panormo guitars have been restored in my workshop so far and a twentieth is underway. Pictures of this guitar are lower down on the page and links to all previous restorations are directly below.

Louis Panormo, 1784-1862, had a workshop in Bloomsbury, London. Many guitars were made, it may even have been a small factory. Today, his guitars are much sought after and often restored with the intention being used. They have a wonderful tone and can be a delight to play.

Some earlier Panormos have a small label which reads "Panormo Fecit". They have cross bracing under the soundboard and are smaller than later examples. Two guitars I have restored are of this type, an 1827 and an 1831. Later guitars have a larger label which reads "Louis Panormo, The only maker of Guitars in the Spanish Style". These guitars are larger and have some type of fan bracing.

The address is variously given as 40 or 46 High Street, Bloomsbury. This street is, I believe, now known as St. Giles High Street, and the address is very near to Centerpoint. The 1849 guitars have the labels altered by hand to read 31 High Street Bloomsbury.

James Westbrook, of the Brighton based Guitar Museum, has done a PhD on the Panormo guitar. The November 2013 issue of Early Music has an article by James about this work. His thesis is also being published as a book.


Current Restoration



A lovely small Panormo, the earliest I have worked on so far, is in the workshop for restoration and sale. Generally in very good condition, it has no bridge and a large crack in the back that must be made good.

1826 Panormo 1826 Panormo 1826 Panormo 1826 Panormo

Outside and inside the body of the guitar as it arrived.

1826 Panormo

It has ivory frets which will be left in place.

1826 Panormo 1826 Panormo 1826 Panormo

Back, heel and head. The guitar body is figured maple covered with a very dark varnish

1826 Panormo

The label: 1826, number 727.

1826 1826 Panormo 1826 Panormo

Inside the guitar, beginning to clean and repair any damage to the soundboard. The ribs are in excellent condition.

String length: 633mm
Overall Length: 920mm
Width of upper bout: 210mm
Width at waist: 164mm
Width at lower bout: 282mm
Height at upper bout:
Height at lower bout:
Nut width: 46mm
Distance between 12 fret and 1st string;
Distance between 12 fret and 6th string;

Panormo Links

Giulio Tampalini plays Fernando Sor on an 1849 Panormo (not 1860 as stated in the video),
which is the first 1849 restoration linked above.
Two Guitarists playing 19th century music on Panormos.
Technical drawing of an c. 1845 Panormo in the Edinburgh University Collection of Historical Musical Instruments. The plan number is 2014. The website is never easy to use and a phone call may be necessary.