Books on the luthiers and their guitars?

Are there any books (other than R & F Charle's Story of Selmer....great book btw!) that have information on Busato, Favino, Castellucia, Di Mauro, Bucolo, etc?

It would be awesome to have a book showcasing all the known models/specs of these luthiers. At least I think so, but I've been a total geek with these classic guitars lately!


  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    Posts: 795
    Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. To my knowledge, there is not such a book other than, as you say, the Francois Charle book.

    Such a book would be a lot of fun to research and compile, not to mention to read. Some of the luthiers, like Castelluccia, Favino, Di Mauro have living descendents who are also luthiers, so presuming they would be willing to contribute, the history of these could be very rich. On the other hand, some, like Busato, might be really tough. I think very little is known about him. The way I understand it, even Bustato's first name was lost for about 30-40 years. Bucolo might be a stretch as well. I have never heard a thing about him...., well, other than his first name, Horace.

    Anyhow, sounds like a challenge. Who's up for it? Anybody already working on it? One concern anyone writing such a book would have is that the interested buyers are a pretty small niche. Jacques Mazzoleni told me when I bought the Francois Charle book from him that he knew Francois personally. He said the book was self published and FC sold the books at printing cost only. Thank you Francois!

    If no one takes this up soon, maybe we could start threads on individuals here and write history notes like a wiki. As an example, there is currently a great thread on Di Mauro Chorus guitars over on the Benoit de Bretagne forum, lots of pictures: ... hp?t=10988

    There is a short history of French guitar making from 1850 to the present by the reknown French classical builder Daniel Friederich at the link below. He is looking primarily at classical guitars but many of our heros are well connected to this history as well. ... rench.html

  • MinorBluesMinorBlues New York✭✭✭
    Posts: 80
    If the Francois Charle book had a small niche, I imagine that a book like this would be even "niche-ier". As far as Busato/Bucolo go and anyone else who we don't know much would at least be nice to have a collection of pictures/specs on their more interesting guitars.

    We have something like that here:

    I assume there are many more of these out there that we've never seen. I think the only people who would have any detailed pictures/notes would be guys like Bob Holo, Killy Nonis, and other luthiers who studied enough of these to make replicas, but they (rightfully!) won't be giving up their hard earned knowledge.
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    I talked with Jacques Mazzoleni about doing something along these lines a few years ago, but I just couldn't get him interested. I basically told him that if he'd just talk into a recorder, I'd take it from there. Jacques probably knows as much as anyone around these days. I think the sad truth is that most of these luthiers are now just names we know little to nothing about. If someone of the stature of Busato has almost no facts we can agree on (First name, year of death, etc.), what are we to do with the little guys? Now that I am officially retired, I want to do something about the di Mauro brothers, especially Joseph (the elder), who I think made amazing guitars. Luckily, Dorothy di Mauro is a font of information. But Busato is consigned to the eternal mysteries department unless something stunning emerges from someone's attic or archives. Too bad, I say, but the time to do this was probably 20-30 years ago, while there was a chance that friends, family, and employees could be found.

    Someone like Bob Holo, Rodrigo Shopis, Maurice Dupont and the like, who have studied many vintage guitars and could talk lucidly about design and construction nuances could be really helpful in talking about these guitars from a technical point of view, but again, what do you say about Busato, who had more designs and styles of guitars than probably everyone before or since combined? Why, for example, do the two Busatos I have found that I know for sure have original fretboards, have 13th fret markers, not 12th? Not to mention 4th fret markers!

    Even Selmer, who ran a professional factory have horribly unreliable log books and records. And there are exceptions to many things we think we know to be standard Selmer.

    So start collecting your Holo, Shopis, Dupont, Barault, Hahl stories, because if no one does, 50 years from now some forum is going to want to know about them and no one will know a thing.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • MinorBluesMinorBlues New York✭✭✭
    Posts: 80
    Great post Michael! Luthiers of these beautiful instruments deserve more credit. Too bad the internet wasn't around 70 years ago :roll:
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