There are rumors going round that Mario Maccaferri had made a a stash of couple of guitars (on order of the Selmer-company) for Django Reinhardt of which he would be allowed to choose the best ones for himself. The rest should have been sold to public after.
This might be the reason why there are still some instruments are floating around today with Django´s name on the headplate (see page 2 of these series about Selmer-history).
So there are more Selmer-guitars that have been made than Django Reinhardt has ever been playing personly. Thus not all Selmer-guitars that have his name on the headplate might have been in his private use for real ! (see photo below)
Many famous Jazz-Manouche-Guitarrists for example Joseph Reinhardt (Django´s younger brother), the brothers Baro, Sarrane and Matelot Ferré, Roger Chaput, Henri Crolla as well as Bireli Lagrene, Stochelo Rosenberg and many many others more played and since decades still play these wonderful guitars.
Many of the early studio-recordings of the Rosenberg Trio for example have been played on Stochelo´s Selmer with the Serialnumber #504.
Which is only 1(!) digit after Django´s model number #503, so it is approximately from the same series … but he might just have been playing this for testing purposes to finally choose #503 then…
After Mario Maccaferri (image left) in 1939 had left the Selmer-company, Henri Selmer kept the production of guitars running until 1952, always keeping to the exact construction-design of Maccaferri.
Until his departure in 1934 Maccaferri had decisively stamped the design of the models of the Selmer guitars by designing all the model-series of Selmer, at first the Model “Hawaiian” and Model “Orchestre” (1932 to 1938), which equipped with a cutaway, were later on also called Model “Grand Bouche“.
From 1938/39 he as well developed and designed the Model “Petit Bouche” for Selmer (see also the article-series Selmer-Guitars and Features of original Selmer-Guitars). But after Macafferri had left there was no more further development or change of construction of the Selmer-guitars, and all the guitars that were made between 1940 and 1952 were solely made by his original created construction-plans.
Here are some original pictures from the Selmer-Workshop in Paris 1933, where also Mario Maccaferri is viewable at work:
In 1941 Henri Selmer begins to widthdraw from the company and his oldest son Maurice Selmer is taking over the business of the Selmer-company (Image left, 2nd from left).
The production of the guitar-series was stopped in end of 1952.
In roundabout 20 years of the guitar-production of the company from 1932 until 1952 Selmer had built just around 1.000 of these instruments.
Since 1952 up to now, Selmer (Paris) is only concentrating on building Saxophones and Clarinetts. The guitar-production was never again started professionally.
In 1999 Selmer wanted to self-create a monument for the company according to the 100-year-old jubilee of the company with a small series of Replika-guitars.
So they put up a limited series of 10 Selmer-Replika-Guitars built exactly after the original construction-plans of Mario Maccaferri. But no real professional guitar-productions were ever started again. (image right: Selmer #963, built 1999).
According to their pure rarity, their age and state the prices of original old Selmer-guitars vary strongly, starting from approximately 10.000.- € up to open end. Because of that many original Selmer-Guitars are mostly to find with collectors, but regrettably not too many musicians anymore. Which is real a shame as good instruments have to be played, otherwise they will loose their character and glory as of their great sound as well…
Read more on -> Features of original Selmer-Guitars
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