bjarton inside guitar

Bjarton – Vintage Guitars from Sweden

A couple of years ago, I was visiting my local vintage guitar store, Paul’s Boutique, here in Toronto. As I made my rounds of the vintage gear, I went to the back room where they keep their acoustic guitars. I scanned for something interesting and a used classical guitar caught my eye due to its natural finish. I picked it up, and proceeded to play some spanish guitar licks, classical music, and a bit of blues. Immediately I was struck by the beautiful tone.

As I inspected the guitar, I saw that it was made by a company called Bjarton. It was a weird sounding name which I had never heard before. Noticing that the price tag was $150, I figured it was a good deal for a good playing instrument with a nice warm tone. Also I like used guitars for some reason as it feels like they have their own little history. And being 3/4th’s the size of a regular classical, I thought it’d be cool to have! I paid at the register, was given the crummy soft case that came with it, and I was on my way.

bjarton guitar
My Bjarton Guitar

After playing a little more at home and appreciating its nice open, beautiful sound, I needed to do some investigative work on this guitar made by Bjarton. My model specifically was the Carmencita as written in the inner label. It definitely had the spanish vibe, thats for sure. After some googling, I found that Bjarton was an old company from Sweden who handmade their guitars. And my guitar specifically was made in 1971! Wow, a 40 years old classical guitar! No wonder it sounded so good. And now it sounds even better since I have played it in.

RELATED: Which are the Best Classical Strings?

The Bjarton Carmencita has a very nice comfortable fretboard made of Jakaranda! Very cool! The bridge is made from the same material. The top, neck and sides are made of mahogany, which the top is solid spruce. Just a fine, well made instrument, and for $150, I felt so lucky to get my hands on it!

Bjarton seemed to have started sometime in the ’50s, and stopped making guitars in the ’80s. Check out these pictures from back in the day at their factory in Sweden:



All in all, Bjarton makes some excellent guitars, and if you ever see one in a shop, my advice is to pick it up. Why? Because it will be cheap, and you will be getting a handmade, aged, beautiful-sounding instrument!

15 thoughts on “Bjarton – Vintage Guitars from Sweden”

  1. Hello ~ I just read your piece regarding the Bjarton. My very own Carmentina traveled back across the pond, in my lap, in 1975. It has remained in my family, in perfect condition. “Little Carmen” was purchased in Stockholm; I was a student at Uppsala University at the time of purchase. I am interested in selling the guitar, as none of my now-adult-children are interested in playing it or retaining it, and the guitar needs a home where someone else will cherish it for longer than I have. I would be interested in your commentary. Sincerely, Patricia

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for reading!

      In regards to your Bjarton, its cool to talk to someone else with the same guitar. My advice is to keep it, since many don’t really know the value. So I doubt you will get much money for it. But if you want someone to have it who will actually cherish it, then I would say visit your local used/vintage guitar shop and either sell to them or have it there on co-signment. Many who want an old guitar that they will cherish will usually buy it from this kind of shop. The last option (most recommended) is to keep it and take up guitar!

      Cheers.

  2. I have a Stranquist….I can not find an example of that style of Bjarton anywhere. It has a ” made for radio, recording &…”, It sounds beautiful, plays like a champ and seems to be unusual, as I cannot find another. Can u point me in the right direction? My local shop did not recognize its value, and I think it might be collectible.

    1. I have not heard of the Stranquist. If you google Bjarton, there is a site that has a list of their guitars.. I didn’t see the model you mentioned. Generally speaking, there isn’t much market value for these guitars as they are not well known. But they are handmade and aged, so my advice to you is to keep it and enjoy it :)

  3. I have a Stranquist….I can not find an example of that style of Bjarton anywhere. It has a ” made for radio, recording &…”, It sounds beautiful, plays like a champ and seems to be unusual, as I cannot find another. Can u point me in the right direction? My local shop did not recognize its value, and I think it might be collectible.

  4. Nice story. Had the same today. Was looking for odd stuff in a second hand store here in Sweden when I found some old guitars. One of them turned out to be a Bjärton ad I could just feel how good it was, even with only two old untuned strings on it. Got it for $80 and went home (yes, with a smile on my face). Googled the serial number and found out it was a 1965 model called Jimmy. Strings off, cleaning, crowning, linseed oil, new strings and it played FANTASTIC! Even as good as my 1965 Gibson J50 but to a fraction of the Gibson price.

    1. Amazing story, Nik! They truly are well-made guitars and are dirt cheap because nobody really knows much about them. But getting a handmade, vintage guitar for under $100 is an absolutely steal.. congrats!

  5. My wife of many years wanted a guitar to tinker on .. some 20+ yrs ago at the time, I forget :)

    Anyway, I picked up a used on for about $100 and she’s been happy ever since. She never really learned to play but picks it up now and again. Recently her and my daughter both have (re)kindled interest in learning.

    It’s a Hagstrom h-11, serial 103487 which dates it as a 1969. Great sound. All original, the top finish is all cracked now though.

    1. It is crazy that these guitars pop up for $50 – $100 and the seller really has no idea that their are vintage solid wood guitars. The only issue I could find with mine was that it needed a setup which was expected with a guitar of this age. And since these are handmade, you really get a quality instrument for next to nothing.

      Best of luck to your wife and daughter and hope they continue to learn this beautiful instrument.

  6. I bought my Hagström Carmencita serialnr. 54145050 when I was 13 years old!
    I have it now for 43 years, and it traveled with me all over Europe and The US.

  7. Today i visited the local dumpster to throw away some thrash and stuff, as i went back and forth i noticed a guitar was laying in the dumpster, i didn´t pay much attention to it but when i was done i thought about the guitar and becuase i just started playing guitar i couldn´t helt but notice that on the headpiece it said “Bjärton” and i own a Bjärton myself so i picked up the poor and abused guitar and when i held it in my hands i immediately fell in love in this Carmencita model, now i have to restore it but i am sure it will all be worth it!

    P.S: Sorry for the bad english :)

    1. Amazing.. its the same model as mine and you got yours free! Congrats. Do let me know how the restoration goes.

  8. I bought a Bjarton guitar in about 1985, as a teenager, wanting to learn, but never got round to it. Now I would like to sell it, but have no idea how to go about it. It looks very much like the one in the picture. I always thought it felt nice though I don’t know anything about guitars. I bought the one I liked most and could afford. So now that I have read the info on this website I feel I need to be careful about how I go about selling it. Does anyone have any advice, or better still, would anyone like to buy it? Also, it has a serial number. Any advice on how to find out about it from this number?

    1. Try listing it on Ebay, and make sure you list the year and that it is a vintage/aged instrument. Because Bjarton is not a very well known brand, people need educating about it. Say in the listing that is handmade in Sweden.

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