By Ton Bogaard


Telesforo Bavel Julve Jordán was born on 11 january 1884 in Villarroya de los Pinares - Teruel.

According to author José Romanillos1) it was one of the harshest environments in Spain. His parents made their living with weaving.

Julve went to his uncle Andres Marín to become his apprentice              in the guitar workshop, at about the same time that Marín was

mecenas of composer Juan Vert Carbonell .



Telesforo learned not only the production of guitars and strings,

 but saw also how to run an international orientated business.



Was it the fair that  was held in Valencia (Exposición Regional de 1909),

the demolition of Marín’s workshop, or the sell-out of an old guitar

Factory that triggered Telesforo to leave Marín and start

his own business?    We do not know (yet)

In 1909 Julve sets up a guitar business together with Francisco Armengol Barrera and Francisco Lloréns Igual.   Armengol was the capital funder, the role of Lloréns is uncertain yet.

Their first catalogue is published in 1910. The address is Arzobispo Mayoral nr.11; the company name: “Armengol, Lloréns y Julve”, Fábrica de guitarras, bordones y cuerdas.

Instruments, strings and parts were sold from the shop at the same adress.

From day one they have an impressive customer and suppliers base. It is not known where all these contacts came from to give the company its flying start.

Arzobispo Mayoral as seen from the Town Hall, looking SW. The two boys have great resemblance with Julve’s sons Telesforo and Juan at that age.

White work suits were quite common among luthiers in those days (men in white). 

The building with letters .... AS  on the wall is number 13.

From handwritten bandurria music found, one can conclude that Julve played guitar and bandurria. There are not so many luthiers combining these skills. Besides that he was interested in poetry (examples found in Julve’s handwriting).

Tekstvak: In 1936 the situation in Valencia is so threatening  for Julve that he leaves with his daughter for Mexico to stay in exile. The company was managed by his wife Francisca and his son Telesforo jr. To run a business in the civil war time needed special skills and certainly a lot of courage. Numerous companies in Valencia were taken over by the personnel. If Julve was, I do not know, but on 18dec 1936 the payments done to the personell were approved by the representataive of  the CNT-UGT de Valencia. Indicating that the company was at least watched by authorities.  
During his stay in the Americas  Julve travels a lot to explore new markets and strengthen his bonds with distributers and agents. In 1937 he returns from New York to Portugal and later on to relatives of Andrés Marín in El Ferrol.
     In April 1939 Julve returns to Valencia hoping to find his family back. The reunite was both happy and sad. Though Julve sr. and his daughter were safely back home, his elder son Telesforo was missing.His fate was not known. All that was known was that he was forced to help with the defence of Valencia, than captured and taken prison and internated in some prisoners camp in Spain.
     That was about all the Valencians knew by then. A search in Spain by relatives and journeys of Telesforo sr. were in the end successfull and junior was able to return home again. Was it the time to continue business in Valencia again, or ??

  Julve info1                     Telesforo Julve - 1st generation

 From the Guia Comercial de Valencia 1910 21, the Arzobispo Mayoral, 11 housed the musical warehouse of Antonio Sanchez Ferris and on n o. 13 Vicente Archer’s widow and nephew had their string production/selling (before moving to c. Quevedo, 11).

(Note also the new address of Andrés Marín)

Production Volume

At this point I have to disappoint you: I do not know! (but would not be surprised of 10.000 units per year).

An overdue payment from the UK.

Two shipments of Julve to Rose Morris in London were invoiced on november 19 - 1936 for the amount of 2488 pesetas (£54 at that time). On 5th of June 1939 Julve (not able to contact them earlier) claims the payments of his invoice This claim results only in letters from his client. His client states that his money is arrested because of the high debt of the Spanish Central Bank against the British Central Bank (£ 3,1* 106).

In august 1939 Julve finally cashes a bank receipt, nearly 3 years after the original invoice date.

Learning period

First take off:

Workshop entrance with bill-board

Mariana Pineda / Convento S.Francisco 4

In 1932 Julve moves his business to the new building at the Mariana Pineda 4, where one year later he got his first telephone connection, (nr. 17854).

1936-1939  Civil War period

Tekstvak: The success of the company looks to be coming from someone with a financial-economy  education, but that is not the case here. Julve’s basic education and small knowledge of foreign language did not hamper him at all to do business with whoever he wanted and at the conditions he wanted to. A most important aspect was the calloboration with his wife Francisca. The couple developed a tremendous clever drive to run their business and coping with all the problems underway. 
I am totally surprised to find a business which contained lots of modern ideas which worked out very well in those days. 
During the Civil War Francisca took care of the business, in spite of the grim outlook in the Civil War. 
Francisca kept on playing her roll in the company after Telesforo Julve Jordán died in 1945



The 30’s are marked by a growing interest in special instruments. Besides guitars in 8 and 10-string versions, Julve supplied a cut away model (as below), a jazz-type (see on the page “Details”) and a 4-string tenor model. The latter was the answer to the growing popularity of the 4-string VEGAVOX model adopted by the guitar player in Bert Ambrose’s band (London): Joe Brannelly.

Julve supplied his tenor guitars via Beare & Son for the british market.

At the end of 1933 Julve announces his ownership of the company Salvador Ibáñez é Hijos.

As it looks now the agreement was made already in 1931, what can also been seen from the sudden increase of new personnel (of which one, Federico Pau, is definetly linked to Ibáñez).


Looking at the complete list of luthiers which worked for Julve, more of these sudden increases in names appear, which could be explained as take-overs.

The years of these increases were: (1909), 1918, 1924 and 1925.

Possible candidates for take-overs could be: Sentchordi Hermanos, Baltasar Calvo and Salvador Sancho (but more evidence still has to be collected).

Expansion by take overs

Tekstvak: In 1918 Telesforo Julve became responsible for the production of instruments and for strings plus the shop. 
The combination of selling strings/components and instruments gives a perfect way of entering other instrument makers premises. One can imagine that  every luthier needs strings and may be other components and in the end you could find out that he may even need complete instruments. Julve was right there to fulfill all their needs.  This flexible and alert approach of clients were good ingredients to build a solid business.
Another selling attribute was Julve’s catalogue. Compared with other suppliers the choice looked overwhelming (like todays menu’s in chinese restaurants). The extensive choice and the application of pictures of the instruments was in 1910 modern and impressive. The range offered included the complete field of plucked string instruments. In practice Julve sold also violins and violin components.
The production of gut strings was mainly subcontracted and bought-in from several sources (Spain, Germany, etc). Production of silver wound silk strings was done in Julve’s workshop, as was the lacquering and finishing of all the instruments. The manufacturing of crude instruments was done both inside the workshop and outside. Outside means here: done by local solo working luthiers, local guitar factories or local workshops. 
Different type of woods were bought as trunks, delivered to sawing mills and cutted to the required sizes, after which they were stored.
From the inventory countings it looks like the orders on hand were varying much each year looking at the quality of the instruments. Low-end (= cheap) and high-end (= high quality) instruments switched in numbers. It looks like the production was not based on producing for a storage (which then had to be sold), but was driven by real orders. Shortage in capacity was leveled by subordering at other valencian factories. (e.g.: Juan Ponce delivers 200 crude guitars to Julve at the start of 1912).
Basicaly the Julve production space was not big enough to enable his big anual output. So a good portion was made outdoor, automatically giving him a good position to react on fluctuating market demands. Note also that in this type of industry and in those days it was common to pay personel for the number of products made, not for the hours worked as in a fixed job.
An overview of the Valencian guitar industry can be read in the chapter on Valencian History.  

After working for Julve for some 8 years, Ricardo Sanchis leaves Julve in 1925 (together with 3 known luthiers) to start his own business in Masanasa. 
Julve kept very good relations with Andrés Marín, Ricardo Sanchis and Vicente Tatay. Examples: business with Marín was partly done as barter trade, Sanchis made payments for Julve and Tatay came shopping at Julve’s place to supplement shortcomings in his own storage.   All four of them made a common price agreement in 1940 to prevent price erosion and stabilize the market.

The luthiers who worked for Julve can be seen here:

Telesforo Julve as solo

Tekstvak: The silver treasure of Valencia.
In his inventory lists Julve noted the amount of silk and silver. In the recorded period of 1911-1916 his amount of silver was 200kg (todays value ≈ € 100.000). Assume that the other string makers in Valencia had similar amounts, and it makes it likely that the silver treasure of Valencia amounted over € 1.000.000).     (Excluding the amount of silk, which had a notable value as well)
Silk and silver were used in the production of the wound strings, which are applied as the 3 base strings of guitars. The higher strings were produced from gut. 
Tekstvak:    Safe of Julve