This guitar has a somewhat misunderstood name and history! Madame Sidney Pratten (1821-1895) played a key role in popularizing the guitar among well-to-do Britons during the Victorian Era. She was the daughter of a London-based German guitarist, and a true prodigy on the instrument. In 1854, after marrying English flutist, Robert Pratten, she was wealthy enough to set up a home in London’s fashionable West End. There, pupils drawn from English nobility would come to her for instruction. Many of these young players traveled widely, and would not wish to carry a full-size instrument. It was for them that Madam Pratten provided (or at least recommended) bambino guitars. While the word bambino in Italian is “child”, modern experts believe that these small instruments were not in fact intended for young players, as they would have encouraged incorrect hand placement and other bad technique. They are also dismissive of Madam Pratten’s claim to have invented the bambino. It is much more widely believed today that these were the Victorian equivalent of Martin Backpackers and Baby Taylors, designed with as few compromises as possible.