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Wow!, great picture, @billyshakes - I have a picture of a very similar guitar on file somewhere, can't access it just now, though, and I can't remember who made it. The aforementioned Vincenzo Miroglio did make guitars a/ in that body-style, and b/ using that (pre-made) intaglio peacock / lyre-byrd. Here are two V Miroglios:
Although I've seen that latter body shape with other names attached too, e.g. Stefano Caponnetto, also Agatino Patane.
It's an old Sicilian "cello guitar" style, I reckon, e.g. Carmelo Catania mod 22 is similarly themed, but different.
Looking forward to seeing the restoration on this new guitar, @rabbitweir , I think I remember seeing it on an auction site a year or two ago. I found your instagram, too ;-)
I see Michael had something for sale a few years ago, here's an old thread. So "Marius" is another possibility
(though "Marius" might be another retail intermediary 'brand' )...
edit - found this pic on the forum ,too.
Thanks Andy, you probably saw on my instagram the third Sicilian a parlour Hawaiian by Gaeto Sapienza. Another resto on the list. Keeps us off the streets. The ebay one you mention i picked up a year or so ago so probably the same one. The back was modern flat plywood! Didnt expect that. Buyer beware as always.
I was standing right in front of him at that Tilburg festival a few years earlier, @AndyW and I have some great digital video on an old hard drive somewhere but I don't know where now. As it was around 2005, my phone was a crappy Nokia candy bar and digital cameras were still in their infancy....most of what remains are just my memories!
Adam - @rabbitweir - and others - do you have any recommendations re. bar frets, as I have an old 1920's / 30's guitarra Portuguesa here with bar frets that is crying out for a refret - the bar frets are, of course, thicker than the tang on any modern T fret, so is it standard practice to remove bar frets, fill the slots & re-cut the board for modern frets??
I know I can acquire lengths of Martin style bar-fret, but don't fancy it , as a DIY amateur.
(it's made more complicated by having a super tight radius on the fingerboard, maybe 4" , much more curved than any standard 7.5" caul or radius-block. I might even 3D print a special radius-block for it)
p.s. @Chris Martin , do you know anything about "Marius" brand, I can't find much at all.
Andy my bar frets are about 1mm thick. The new T frets generally fitted ok, ( clearly depends on what size you go for) some needed some glue, some i bent a few bigger tangs into the fret to give more purchase. Some i need both. But no more complex than usual. Some sites suggest turning the bar frets over with some filling then re-level. However as you can see from the photo of my old bar frets, the unused side can be in worse condition than the original worn surface. Im sure you would need to glue as no tangs for them to grip. A suggestion may be to remove a few and see what you've got then decide. May also depend on any chip out removing bar frets, T's have a shoulder that helps hide the inevitable damage. However i tend to run at these things and fight my way through. There are proper luthiers out there that really know what their doing.
AndyW - re Marius guitars; nothing much known here either. I did look into this before and I got the impression it was maybe a retailer or wholesaler rather than a maker of guitars. I think this came about by guesswork after one of my fruitless searches.
I have long been interested in the history of French and Italian guitars and regularly waste huge amounts of time trying various combinations of word searches to satisfy my curiosity. One thing I am good at though is filing such that whenever I want to go back and find what I have so far, or to connect something forgotten to a new discovery I can update and cross reference such trivia.
I remember the name Marius came up some time ago and searches turned up very little except one thing came to mind; what few examples I could find appeared to possibly be the work different luthiers; certainly there was a link to Carmelo Catania and it may be that he made most of what were sold as Marius, but I also found a Marius that looked more like the work of Caponetto.
Another point that may mean Marius was not a maker is that he is not listed over at Fetishguitars.com and that so far is the best source I have found for these Italians and Sicilians.
However the most convincing link is the Marius currently listed on ebay - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GUITARRA-MARIUS-1940-GYPSY-GUITAR-ORIGINAL-CAJA-CURVADA-INCLUYE-FUNDA/273966439396?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
is identical to a Carmelo Catania I sold only a couple of months ago (and for half of what that one is listed for).
The only differences apart from tailpieces are that one has the name Marius impressed into the headstock and the other has the standard Carmelo Catania label inside.
First photo = Marius
Second photo = Carmelo Catania
That was a nice light easy to play guitar with a bright tone; as has already been said these basic budget guitars can be made to be good players instruments.
Finally, yes, I agree that over-the-top Peacock model is more likely a Miroglio than a Carmelo - and yes, I want one too !
I suspect, perhaps, that "Marius" , (alongside "Sonora", perhaps) were retail brands sold in UK & parts of northern Europe - at a time, with world war two fresh in the memory, when having an Italian-named maker would not have been a popular selling point on an instrument. -A-
Could be, or maybe just a retailer or wholesaler's name? The post-war theory does not explain though how, for example, Hofner sold so many guitars in Britain in the 'fifties.
After seeing the other non-traditional but totally awesome shapes and styles on this post, I wanted to share one of mine. I have you idea of it's history, but its got that dry tone and plays great, it is extremely light.