Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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Update October 2021 Unfortunately the main information link  from the 2019 update is down. I'll leave this page open as a reference  ...

Hijos de Vicente Tatay Info Dump

Update October 2021

Unfortunately the main information link  from the 2019 update is down. I'll leave this page open as a reference 

Update Oct 19

Ton B. has linked me to his own info on Tatay instruments, highly recommend


This is all information that I've come across on the internet while attempting to find info on my Spanish classical guitar that I've narrowed down to being made by "Hijos de Vicente Tatay" which is Spanish for "Sons of Vicente Tatay". Vicente Tatay being a luthier based in Valencia, Spain. So far I haven't found any conclusive identification of my guitar but I hope by compiling this knowledge that I help someone in the future. 

Disclaimer: A lot of this information was obtained on Spanish-speaking websites that I translated to English using Chrome's built in "Translate" feature. Don't expect flawless translations and instead refer to the original source for a better interpretation of the content.

Second Disclaimer: A lot of this information came off of anonymous forum posts and marketplace listings so it is hearsay (sometimes even contradicting itself) but I've documented it for posterity. 

Vicente Tatay (Valencia, b. 1869 active c. 1889-1942)
Vicente Tatay was a guitar maker in Valencia. Vicente established his workshop in 1889. It was like most workshops of the era with the father teaching and supervising his sons so that some day they could take over the family business. The family business soon began to grow, and they had to hire extra help to meet the demand. They slowly began to look for ways to increase their production by mechanizing some aspects of building. Thus, slowly but surely their workshop was transformed into a factory. The firm Vicente Tatay founded has grown into a major factory producing some 40,000 instruments a year. Vicente Tatay retired in 1942, and the firm was taken over by his sons José and Vicente Tatay Tomás who formed a company Hijos de Vicente Tatay. 


Label off of an expensive (ebony fretboard) Hijos de Vicente Tatay guitar Source (ebay)

"The typical label of the fifties can be studied here." Source

My attempt at restoring this image into a label I can print out
and put into my guitar since my label is 90% missing. I am no graphic artist but I tried
Vicente Tatay Est ???? black and gold label that my research has led me to believe is 70s-80s
Image Source

Vicente Tatay Tomas (one of the 'hijos') label Image source

More recent Vicente Tatay Tomas label, 90s perhaps? Image Source

Key Features

Fretboard "tongue" found on some Tatay classicals Source
Fingerboard "tongue" and brass frets Source
This guitar sold for 320 Euros which is about 376 USD
Headstock text: "Tatay España" Source


This blog contains an impressive amount of information about luthiers based in Valencia and Vicente Tatay is mentioned in passing a couple times. The downloads page includes five catalogs from the 1960s for Vicente Tatay though they are obviously in Spanish. There are no pictures of guitars, just descriptions. It is kept by a person named Ton Bogaard

The following information comes from various websites and forums, check the Sources list at the bottom of the page for each source

Source #1

Entry 1
Oops!  I almost forgot.  Here is the contact information for your Guitar:
 Tlf: 96 3330760 - Fax: 96 3330760
"William Betancourt" <> wrote in message
Entry 2
There is a lot of information about Tatay on internet but it is mostly in spanish. The Tatay factory in Valencia was still making guitars in the 90s. Even the cheap models can have a nice character of sound. They only put brass frets on the cheaper models. If the wood of the sides is the same color - more or less - as the top then maybe it is a student flamenco model with cypress wood. 
tom g  
Entry 3
...The wonderful Luthier here in Houston, Neil Seargent, looked it over, and had some intriguing observations. I wanted to put classical strings on it, and with the nut, and saddle too far gone, he replaced those, and re- glued the sides and a crack or two, along with  the remaining  portion of the sticker , back in enough for me to read “ Vicente Tatay Tomas”; Carrera Malillas,88. Valencía, (España), and  “...RIAS Y LAUDES”,- but not much else. 
The top is a thick magnificent piece of Spruce, the back Mahogany,and sides and neck as well, I reckon. Someone along the line mentioned “Pear wood” to be a component, that would be the first and only time I’ve ever heard of wood from a Pear tree to be used on a guitar, but hey, Quien sabe?  Thankfully, It had made it through it  the rough years spent “character building”.... 

 Source  #2

Entry 1
I have a 1958. I guess it is a student type. Nothing fancy. Mahogany sides and back. But solid spruce top looks like. Amazingly light and playable still with the standard longitudenal crack on the back, repaired long ago. Straight neck. A backing strip was glued to the inside of the back to splice the thing together ? Looks like it ended up being a 1/4 inch away from the crack though. Maybe that's a method for better acoustics, the offset strongback piece rather than right over the crack. Looks like the crack had been open and the repair involved gluing a long thin piece of wood (from the bottom and 10" toward middle.) When I got it in late 70's it had a cheesy white plastic pic protector that fell off. I was told by someone that because of the narrower than standard neck it was a flamingo guitar. I invested in a super strong case for this fragile wonder of an instrument. If only I could really play but I love noodling around and appreciate it for what it is. Paid $100 for it. Worth a bit more it sounds like. Sounds rich, stays in tune.
Posted by fritz winkler on Thu, 06/25/2015 - 21:09.
Entry 2
Andrew Tatay, Farmingville, NY, made a guitar for me with solid rosewood sides and back, French polish, flamenco pegs, the top is braced like a flamenco guitar, but it has the hybrid appearance of a flamenco/classical--beautiful colors in the rosette. I love it. My information is that 7 Tatay brothers emigrated from Spain to South America, and one brother moved north to Long Island. He had twin boys who were active in their local volunteer fire department, and also made guitars with their father, (Vicente?). There was a family rift between the brothers in later years, around 1975 (?), and they possibly sold the business and stopped making guitars. Does anyone have different information? --John
Entry 3
Hello I have 3 Taytay Guitars. One was made in 1952 by Vincent Tatay my father had it custom made through the Spanish Guitar Store in NYC. It is in very good condition, light as a feather. Not sure on woods but I’m sure you could tell. When I was very young I remember bringing the Guitar to the Tatay Factory out in Farmingdale Long Island for repair work on the Bridge in the late 1960’s. I believe this was Vincents grandson who continued the family tradition. At that time he wanted to buy the guitar from us when he saw it was made by his grandfather. My dad did not want to sell and he did a beautiful job fixing the guitar. His workshop was amazing. Everything done by hand by one man. To a young boy it looked like Santas workshop.
Jim Sirna 
Entry 4
 Hello David. I am from Lisbon, and have recently aquired a second hand Vicente Tatay Tomas guitar. It is a nice guitar, all solid mahogany and spruce. It has no date, but some detais make me believe this is an old one, probably from his first years. From the information I found in the internet, with the genealogy of the Tatay guitar makers, I believe Vicente Tatay Tomas is you grand uncle. Am I right? Do you know anything about him? Is he still alive? If so, does he still works? The guitar is in rough shape, but still playable. If he is still active I would love to meet him, and ask him to restore himself my guitar.
Greetings from Portugal
Francisco Anjos
Entry 5
 Actually Vicente Tatay father was a luthier in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He manufactured the original guitars by hand and from entire pieces of wood. He sold his interest to a Japanese conglomerate I believe in 1909 or 1910. His sons moved to the US in the 40s and established a factory of Vicente Tatay guitars in the 50s in New Jersey. Those guitars were cheaply made and are not worth much today. I own an original B102t model made in Spain that my father gave me. The guitar is probably close to 70 years old and it is in mint condition.
 Posted by dARC8264 on Tue, 11/19/2013 - 01:58.
Entry 6
I had a Tatay guitar in late 50's it was handmade in Valencia Spain all wood binding on edgesnothing fancy to look at but what a tone good luck
with the research Iain. 
Posted by Iain on Sat, 03/02/2002 - 17:55. 
Entry 7
I have 3 Taytay Guitars. The oldest built by Vincent in 1952 in amazing condition. Was my Fathers. The other two built in Long Island by his Grandson in the late 60's. Would be happy to send you photos. They are for sale
Jim Sirna
Entry 8
: Anybody have any information on Tatay guitars?
and '60s.
.....The Tatay family crafted some of the finest acoustic guitars.Their craft was passed on from generation to generation.The family shop was on Horseblock Rd. in Farmingville,N.Y..I have a custom-made acoustic made by Tatay that I am looking to sell.
 Posted by steve masciangelo on Thu, 09/12/2002 - 16:06.
Entry 9
I have the pleasure to own and play daily a guitar by V. Tatay (New York). This is as much as I know. I may be misinformed in places. Lou Kleinsmith, my "male role model" growing up in New York, owned the Tatay. It was given to me by his son Bill. Lou died years ago, but I believe he told me that the Tatays were ex-pat Spaniards who hung out with the ex-pat guitar community at the end of 14th street in a little coffeeshop on the North side of the street just East of 8th Ave. This group included on occasion Segovia and Augustin (the 'inventor' of the nylon string.) I know of no other connection between Tatay and the group. Augustin's widow would seem the person to ask.

I was told that Tatay was the source of the "Pallet Guitar" legend. I heard this first around 1962. My guitar is a 1956. It is made from terrible mahagony and has a crack the length of its back since my earliest memory. The month and year of manufacture is stamped with an office date stamp on the soundboard cross bar just to the neck end of the soundhole. Other Tatays I have seen were stamped the same.

My guitar seems to be finished with shellac or some shellac based finish. It is now heavily checked with age. The guitar has a wonderful precision in that it seems to have been made face down on a workboard. There is an unbroken straight line from the bottom of the nut going under the rosewood fingerboard and under the rosewood bridge. So the soundboard and neck must have been butted on the workboard and everything else done from there. Simple. Precise.

There is no binding or purfling at the edge. Just good clean perfect joinery of the sides to the soundboard and back. After 50 years the neck is straight as an arrow, the joints are all still perfect, and there is no perceivable sinking or cracks in the soundboard. The crack in the back is not on any joint of the maker. Just cheap wood. I would suspect the wood came from Wild or Constantine back then.

The fingerboard oils have dried, dishing the board and making the frets protrude slightly. Not enough for me to refret it yet. The neck is ever so slightly narrow by today's standards. It's a 652 on the 1st string.
Posted by Ken Sribnick on Fri, 10/10/2003 - 23:58.
Entry 10
 I have a guitar that I purchased from The Spanish Music Center in New York City in 1975. I am an amateur player, who has not played at all for years. The label is a Spanish Music Center label pasted over another label which I can't read. It reads Marco Francisco Tarrega, with Modelo 1-M and the number 12-26-74. Another, smaller label reads Tatay Spanish Guitars.
Anyone have any info? It has a great sound still, even with the old strings.
Posted by Andrew Gardner on Thu, 06/21/2012 - 14:21.
Entry 11
 I just noticed a couple of nights ago that my Tatay guitar had the date July 1959 stamped on the foot of the neck inside the guitar. I'm in the process of trying to find out where it was made and every indication is that it was in Farmingville, New York. The label has those two figures dancing and the #13 street address. Any information would be helpful. Thankyou.
 Posted by paynej49 on Thu, 04/24/2014 - 17:33.
Entry 12
 My wife found a guitar at a garage sale that has a rounded off gold label at the end of the neck with Tatay Guitars written on it. Is this a real Tatay and, if so, when was it made? I once owned a Tatay purchased in Farmingville, NY in the mid 60s. Sold it because the neck was too wide for my hands. At the ripe old age of 77 I Have decided I 'd like to resurrect my guitar skills with the instrument my wife found. Is it a real Tatay?Z
Posted by Robert Grassi on Wed, 02/04/2015 - 00:51.

 Source #3

Entry 1
More than likely someone is going to ask you to post a picture. Just a heads up. I've never heard of that guitar brand/maker. I just did a bit of googling and found that the company/label was started by Vincente Tatay approximately 1889 and He went into mass production for "student model" guitars. That could be the reason it doesn't have a date on it. Most lower end factory guitarsdon't have a date on the label. (the ones i've seen at least)
Just my thoughts,Marc by mclegg » Sunday 01 August 2010, 21:19 pm

Entry 2
Hiover here the Tatay name is mostly associated with cheap factory made guitars from the 70's and 80's. If you have a guitar made by the man himself then that would be a completely different story. Initially, pictures would help, I am guessing that an expert would need to see the guitar in person to confirm the source.
Regards Tim
Post by OldPotter » Monday 02 August 2010, 10:22 am

Entry 3
I have a Tatay that was purchased new at The Guitar Shop on M street in Washington DC in 1958. The date was rubber stamped on the wood above the label. I do not have the guitar in front of me or I would photograph it but it was a very nice Brazilian Rosewood and, in 1958 the cost was $450 at a time when Hausers and Fletas were around $1,000 US. It was an excellent instrument! Over the years I have seen other Tatays but they have been modestly priced student models.
by R. Riley » Saturday 11 December 2010, 18:10 pm 

Source #4

Entry 1
Vicente Tatay was probably the son of Thomas, after his dead, the business continued as Hijos de Vicente Tatay. It was one of the largest factories ever in Valencia, Spain. The factory was located at the current site where Maderas Barber is. One son of Vicente (Andrew, I believe) moved to the US and continue making guitars until about 20 year ago. If you have one from the 19th century, it is a good thing. If it was made by Thomas Tatay himself, it could have a high value. If it was made at his factory, it probably has different value. Sorry, I cannot offer any more help.
About 10 years ago, I bought a Vicente Tatay guitar on e - b a y for $120. IT was beaten up, I fixed and sold it for aobut $250. Not much there. The buyer was very pleased to have such an antique guitar. by Pepe Vergara » Wednesday 16 January 2008, 06:59 am
 Entry 2
andrew, a brother, and his dad were in n.y.c. around the 50's 60's.then moved to long island and set up shop. andrew kept the shop open until the late 90's.i have one of the last he built around '96.he was a great guy, real old's fashionable to trash tatay(valencia) guitars as they builttons of student guitars but, there were some high end ones as well(in new york anyway).andrew did excellent work and charged next to nothing.i also have one his dad built in '66, that thing is as light as a feather.
check with a mirror on the underside of the top around thesoundhole. the n.y. ones had the date stamped with one of theoffice type ink stamps.
harmony central user reviews has a few on tatay.everyone liked theirs (i think pepe even wrote a fairly glowing review)prices were very low.
**after thought***felix manzanero has a vicente tatay in his well respected collectionby brian » Wednesday 16 January 2008, 21:42 pm

Source #5 

Entry 1
In our country I do not know why the myth runs that the Tatay are the best classical guitars that exist, or even know what model they are and what materials were used for their construction and sold at very high prices.
I am not saying that they are bad, but they are very overvalued. My recommendation, sell it and with what you get, buy a good Alhambra or a Ramirez and you will notice the difference. 

  by victorblanco04 on 11/17/2010
Entry 2
 Hello friends, I have a guitar "Vicente Tatay Tomas SA" that I bought in 1977 (40 years ago). I have it in perfect condition. I'm interested in knowing more about this guitar. On the back of the headstock there is a white label marked with the number F-120. I would like to know what this number means on the label; I've heard that it's about the model; If this is true, I would like to know what characteristics represent this model. I also want to know if it's a classical or flamenco guitar. I appreciate that you can give me the most information as I have tried online but I have not achieved anything about it. Greetings.
 by edgar ramirez on 08/09/2017

Sources not previously credited:

Tatay Catalog Scans: 



  1. Sir, I salute you.
    You did the great job. Very well done.
    It helps me a lot because I have this guitar and I wanted to know more. Now I know.
    Thank you.

  2. Hello. I have a Vicente Tatay guitar. I think that guitar was build 1930 more or less. I don't find information about vicente tatay father. i would like know about this guitar or the date of build. maybe you can help me. I can't send you photos. this is my mail thank you for you information

  3. Hi, thanks for the information here. I{ve got a Vicente Tatay classical guitar, and was bought new, I think, in the late 80s, it has the label, or sticker you said it was from the 90s, so probably they used that same label since the 80s.

  4. I think I have an old one but there’s no label I mean it looks very old considering looking at these pictures


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