c.1940 DI MAURO ST-LOUIS BLUES
A nice Di Mauro St-Louis Blues “petite bouche” jazz model, made in Paris in the 1940s.
Presented in the catalog as a model designed especially for professionals, the St-Louis Blues is Di Mauro’s response to the 14-fret jazz guitars produced by Selmer, nicknamed “Petite Bouche” because of the small oval mouth on their top.
This guitar was built by and bears the stamp of of Antoine di Mauro, one of the great names in Parisian lutherie of the first half of the 20th century – like many fellow luthiers at the period, he is part of the Italian, and specifically Sicilian, diaspora: Antoine, originally from Catania, manufactured mandolins and guitars there until 1934. However, faced with the deleterious economic and social climate which grew from year to year due to the fascist regime and the global economic crisis, he made the same choice as nearly 800,000 of his countrymen at the time and crossed the Alps to settle in Paris, where his older brother Joseph already lived. A few years later, at the beginning of the 1940s, Antoine di Mauro inaugurated his workshop at 50, rue de la Réunion in the 20th arrondissement, where the guitar presented here was probably built – it is complicated to precisely date Di Mauro guitars since they do not have any serial or identification number, the only elements making it possible to determine an approximate construction period being their lutherie characteristics.
This St-Louis Blues is in any case very well made, with a spruce top, nicely figured maple back and sides, a three-piece neck, its rosewood bridge with the characteristic whiskers, and its chromed tailpiece. The guitar has been refretted, fully set up and prepared in our workshop to make it a musical instrument that is perfectly comfortable to play, and we can thus fully appreciate all of its sonic richness.
Sold in a fitted modern hardshell case.