"The wood from these ancient barrels as material for luthiers is a true treasure trove. Being involved in this project is, for me, a joy and an honour for various reasons. Firstly, of course, it is always a pleasure to work together with my colleagues in the EGB. There is poetry in the making of beautiful artifacts from the raw material in the ruined barrels, in which the Marquis of Pombal kept his wine, he who rebuilt the beautiful city of Lisbon from the ruins brought about by the massive earthquake and tidal wave of 1755. To be able to use this material, seasoned over 265 years at least, therefore reliably stable beyond any doubt, is for us as craftsmen a bonus beyond measure. We are all people who have dedicated our lives to working in a small scale, very much in the vein of makers of instruments in the time when these barrels were made. And let’s all be thankful that the wood did not, in the hands of some unwitting person, suffer the unthinkable fate of ending up in a stove. Let us be the guardians of what amounts to our Holy Grail."


Andy Manson started building acoustic instruments in 1967, and opened a workshop in Sussex, UK two years later.  His work is firmly based in the classic methods, using hand tools wherever possible, along with hide glue and natural finishes.  Over the years he has achieved a reputation as one of England's finest luthiers, with a client list that includes Jimmy page, John Paul Jones, Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Andy Summers and many more.  He is now located in Portugal -  representing the close historical ties between England and his new home country.