This Sobell was a special order made for the late Paul Hostetter, an influential luthier and restoration specialist from Santa Cruz , Calif. Although Paul is pictured on Stefan Sobell's website playing a more recent Steinbeck model, this Sicilian was his first Sobell guitar, completed in March of 1992. One of Paul's specific requests was that Sobell use a subtle multi-color combination of brown, red, and green wood purfling lines for the soundhole rosette and around the perimeter of the top, instead of the wood marquetry the builder used on almost all of his guitars and mandolin-family instruments. (Back then, Sobell preferred herringbone pattern marquetry, but has used other designs in recent years) As a result, this Sicilian model is, as far we know, unique in its appearance. See photo 9. All the parts are original with the exception of the fossilized ivory bridge pins, which we assume were added by Paul.

Although Paul played this Sobell, he had a light touch and there's little fret wear. He was also a careful player who took excellent care of his favorites so not only are there no cracks anywhere there's also only the very lightest of wear to the finish with no significant nicks, dings, or scratches. The finish has settled nicely in 27+ years so the guitar has a nice overall patina, and the Brazilian is colorful with well-matched grain (see photo 10). This is a Sobell guitar that responds immediately without much effort from the player, yet it can be remarkably loud when needed. The very slightly longer string scale makes it excellent for alternate "dropped" tunings as the bass strings retain good sustain.

In the Calton case is the original receipt from Stefan Sobell, with a nice note addressed to Paul, plus the shipping label with an interesting assortment of stamps. This is an exceptional guitar with provenance to match.

stock no. 56808

ModelSicilian (Brazilian)
TopEuropean spruce
Back and sidesBrazilian rosewood
Frets to body14
Nut width1 11/16"
Scale length25 5/8"
Bridge materialebony
Fretboard Materialebony
Neck materialmahogany
BracingX pattern
Electronicsnone
Neck profileshallow D
Total frets20
TunersGold Gotoh (Not 510)
Finishlacquer
CaseOrig. Calton
Serial NoNSN
Bindingrosewood