Sold already in 2014 - Vintage Gypsy Guitars - Busato- Favino-Di Mauro-Castelluccia

Go to content

Main menu:

Sold already in 2014

Home
 

Exceptional Gypsy Guitar
Attributed to Castelluccia 1940/1950
For sale. Contact me. Serious enquiries only.

Look at the following pictures, and enjoy watching a real beauty. This is an exceptionally playing and sounding instrument. It is attributed to Castelluccia who made this special model. The rope binding is typical of Castelluccia although Busato made them also occasionally. This Castelluccia special has a 675 mm string length from zero nut to bridge, a 39.4 cm width at the lower bout and 10 cms thickness of the body. It has 5 bars under the table and 3 bars on the back as Busato Grand Model. Braces are V shaped like Busato and body binding shape is like Busato.The 5 piece neck is typical of Jacques Favino.
Huge sound, huge bombeed pliage on the top and huge bombe on the back.
The guitar comes with its original wooden case, a rare feature done exclusively by Busato for high end guitars.
So, we claim it is a Castelluccia with a certain suspicion it is a Busato.
The top is made in a superb european spruce, back and sides in a terrific walnut, very figured.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 
 

A European website belonging to Benoît de Bretagne, one of the best gypsy guitars experts and luthier in the world shows a guitar with the same 5 piece neck and fret board side decoration attributed to Busato (see two pictures below).

 
 

Look at this D Hole Busato owned by my friend Patrick Bitane (pictures). It has rope binding and fret board sides decoration as on this Castelluccia.

 
 

In September 2013 a similar guitar was found in Italy. Look at the 9 pictures below.

 
 
 
 

For sale, a great 14 frets Moyen Model Paul Beuscher from the fifties, all renovated by Martin Tremblay. For 2000$, real cheap. ASK PICTURES and SOUND CLIPS BY EMAILING to karczjp@videotron.ca

Listen to these sound clips and ask Martin Tremblay his opinion about this guitar. Unfortunately gypsy music players feel they play or sound better with an oval sound hole guitar or even a D Hole guitar, and they do not care much about round sound holes. I will avoid writing what I think about this turn-off, as this would lack elegance and hurt many. Most players care first and foremost about looking good with an oval hole guitar, and sound quality and projection comes after. They are ready to pay close to 4,000$ and more for an oval hole with an average sound and despise a great vintage instrument because it has a round sound hole at half the cost. Go figure! Play this one with friends who have a Hahl, Dupont or newer guitars and make them uncomfortable with the difference in favor of your Beuscher.
I bought this guitar from France for 500 euros, had it shipped here, paid 1,750$ additionnal to Martin Tremblay to put it as new, I am adding a new case so if you know how to count I am losing on it. Its your luck to jump on this opportunity. If you do not want it I will keep it for myself and I hope you enjoy your 5,000$ guitar as much.



Mid 1950’s Paul Beuscher Moyen Model 14 frets Gypsy Vintage Guitar


The golden period of gypsy guitars made in France in the Parisian area or in Mirecourt by Sicilian French, Italian or French luthiers was spread between 1938 and the mid 60’s. Almost all of these guitars, even the ones that survived well, need various levels of renovations to play like new, and there are only a handful of specialized luthiers for gypsy guitars. Hackers and luthiers with quality but little experience will not do the job. The renovations only cost nearly eight hundred dollars for the least expensive (fret-board replacement, new frets and setup) to about double that amount, sometimes more, if the neck has to be reset or cracks must be repaired.
Gypsy music started for guitars in Paris with accordion musician accompaniment. Only later to the end of the sixties the Alsace, Dutch and German gypsies, influenced by the Eastern culture and accompanying violin players adopted this music.
The vintage guitar presented today is from the end of the fifties, has new frets; neck reset and two cracks were repaired. The well-known luthier and expert Martin Tremblay recently renovated this guitar and did as always a great job; so the new owner will have both the pleasure of having a fully renovated vintage instrument, and also playing as a modern guitar, suitable for the most demanding professional for the stage, club, studio and concert work.

Owning and playing a vintage guitar is a unique experience. Luthiers at that time made them by hand, and the wood aged so that their tone is unmistakable. Dry with a bark, loud, balanced and projecting. This guitar proposed here is one of these highly sought-after instruments. A demanding player or pro luthier will evaluate the resonance and sustain by a number of tap tones to have the top and the back resonate. This guitar is very responsive and its tap tones are loud, clear and articulate.    
Vintage luthiers had their well-kept know-how of building an optimal structure, selecting the woods and making guitars so they would sound superb. The shape of the headstock (tapered or not and the crown shape of the headstock) is almost invariably a strong indication of the luthier who made the guitar. The backs were ordered from the same source, from a common supplier, like tuners, tailpieces and often bridges. Construction methods were very similar: in most cases everyone used curved plywood backs and sides with sliced veneers of fine woods. Between two layers of this rare wood was sandwiched a layer of slightly stronger ordinary wood like poplar or mahogany. By gluing and clamping the wood sheets a curved guitar back that was strong and inexpensive was formed in a mold, thus avoiding the time-consuming work of joinery. Specialists in Mirecourt or Paris prefabricated the necks and bridges, while the various luthiers according to their designs made the soundboards. The soundboard with its specific bracing is the clue to trace the luthier and it is the part of the guitar with the most important impact on the guitar tone, volume and balance. In that respect, modern luthiers could learn from the ancient masters. Many guitars had cheap tinted pear-wood fret-boards and these have to be replaced by ebony or rosewood. More expensive guitars at the time were fitted with a rosewood fret-board.

At that time, guitars were shown to potential buyers in Paris showrooms and sold by distributors like Symphonia, Sonora, Paris Musical or Paul Beuscher, who was the biggest of them. If you would live outside Paris your local instrument shop would order from one of these companies. Luthiers were rarely delivering directly to clients, even more rarely with their label. Some luthiers were the usual suppliers to these distributors and show rooms, amongst which Busato, Bucolo, Joseph Di Mauro the Elder, Mouly and Castelluccia. You might already have played one of these and they do not sound different from their less expensive guitars sold through distributors. Anyone who owns a guitar similar to the one shown today knows they sound equivalent to the high-end instruments like the Busato Grand Model that fetch a 15k selling price.
All of these guitar backs have a pronounced arch for bass projection, and the shape of it is in all considerations similar to the shape of a Busato Grand model arched back, as they came from the same sub supplier. If you would question Martin Tremblay about it, he would spend time explaining this important feature, which has a major consequence on the balance of tone and bass response and projection. The luthier who made these guitars kept an overall similar look but used his own bracing and tuning technology (the well-kept secret) and used his own sound-hole decoration and headstock shape. This is one of the ways to differentiate and spot the maker. Another way exists if the neck had to be reset; Bucolo, for example, used a unique small offset dovetail and his guitars are recognizable that way. The structure of the top also is unique as Busato or Joseph Di Mauro the Elder used 3 or 4 pieces tops. This one has such a top. Sound-holes decorated with arrows are unique to Joseph Di Mauro the Elder and his followers.

This is a really good vintage guitar offered at a premium price. I sold over two hundred vintage guitars over the last two years and I am the creator of the site Gypsyguitarfans, which gained a worldwide reputation. Numerous artists, players and collectors play my instruments, as I am very selective in getting them in France from the best sources and having them renovated by Martin Tremblay exclusively, a guaranty of quality. People also often sells at prices almost twice mine as they do not get my good contacts in Europe namely in Gypsy families, virtually never have the guitars totally renovated (new frets, new fret board, neck reinforcement when needed and any major renovation like a neck re-adjustment or reinforcement) as I do with one of the best luthiers in the world, Martin Tremblay. There are many ways to get good vintage guitars in a less expensive way, with the same or superior guaranty, and this is one.
It is a 14 frets to the body guitar with a gypsy cutaway, a big advantage, and the round sound hole of this moderate size gives it the sound of an oval hole with a tad more projection. Many gypsies played round sound-hole guitars with Django, and his brother Joseph Reinhardt played mostly guitars with round sound-holes. Django himself played round sound holes guitars before his exclusive commercial agreement with Selmer.
A top luthier for the largest retailer in the world made it at that time, Paul Beuscher, who is highly respected by gypsy players and collectors. The label inside the guitar establishes provenance and is saying a lot about the luthier who made it and the quality of the work, as mostly only the best Sicilian French luthiers like Busato or Joseph Di Mauro the Elder supplied instruments to Beuscher as I said earlier, although it is not uncommon to see Castelluccia and Mouly sold through this distributor and retailer at the time.
Needless to say the sound is superb, loud, balanced, with a big projection. Buying a Busato or a Joseph will cost you two to six times for no real advantage.

 
 
 
Back to content | Back to main menu