The Serial Numbers #
A very important and characteristic feature of Favinos of all years and ages starting around 1960 are the Serialnumbers. All Favino-guitars, alike the original Selmer-guitars, were equipped with continuing serialnumbers which are to find on a paperlabel inside the bodies glued into the bottom of the backside underneath the soundhole. The numbers printed and/or written by hand onto different kind of Labels started with No. 001 (1959) and went until No. 890 (built around 1982/83).
In the beginning Jacques Favino was using pretty simple made printed Labels with the following insriptions:
"Jacques FAVINO, Luthier Artisan, 9, Rue Clignancourt, Paris XVIII (Arrondisement), Année xxxx (year) and No. xxx (Serialnumber)" (image 1 left below).
Mostly the year and serialnumber on the Labels were filled in by hand (with Indian ink or fountain pen), so that the inscriptions might possibly have become unreadable over the years. In some cases it as well contained the signet of J. Favino and/or the name of the customer it was built for (supposedly if it was a custom made guitar).
Another important fact is also that Jean-Pierre Favino after he had taken over the business from his father around 1983/84 was still using the same Labels for some years around!
So between 1984 and 1990 there have been a couple of guitars been made by Jean-Pierre Favino which held the same old Labels than those of his father Jacques Favino - thus beeing mixed up and sometimes sold as original Jacques Favino´s guitars by accident, even if these were made by his son.
To really distinguish these models from the years in question, one has to closely look at the exact making and Serialnumber, as there has been this transitional-period betwen 1980-1984 when both, father and son, were making guitars together in the workshop in the Rue de Clignancourt.
With the beginning of 1990 Jean-Pierre Favino changed his Labels and used a new designed and blue decorated Label with the following contents (image 3, top left): "Jean-Pierre Favino, Luthier, 31160 Castelbiague, 61901027, No. xxxx (Serialnumber, now 4-digits!), personal signing and on the right the year of making (written by hand with Inkpen).
The Tuners (machine heads)
From the very beginning Jacques Favino always used the so called SB-Tuners (made by Salvatore Billardi), as already Busato and Selmer did on their guitars.
These high-class tuners, which still do their duty on many of these old Favinos, were actually made in two different styles: in chromed metalwith additional metal caps and turning knobs made from horn later on also in hard-plastic (see image 12 right) and another variation completely made from chromed metal with additional metal caps (image 11 right/left).
One distinctive feature of the SB-tunes were the big letters "SB" on the side of the metal-caps, of which he also produced in two different kinds: the older type (aproximately built between 1940 and 1950) with slightly smaller caps (image 12 right, with horn knobs) and a more modern type (aprox. from 1950 to 1985) with some bigger metal-caps and knobs (image 11 left).
Salvatore Billardi, who was also an italian immigrant, worked from the late 1930ies until the mid 1980ies with all the great makers of Gypsyjazz-Guitars like Selmer, Busato and Favino as a supplier.
All these ordered the tuners with him, as of their high quality, but ordered their tuners especially handcrafted for them, with different engravings on the outside caps.
Selmer had a big "S" on the side, Busato his typical "BB" and Favino used the standard-models of Billardi with his own engraving SB on the caps. Salvatore Billardi stopped his business and production when he retired in 1980 - one reason why Jacques Favino could only built his guitars with left over remainders of stock after that.
Jean-Pierre Favino since 1990 solely uses the newly invented so called "Open Schaller"- Tuners (made by Schaller/Germany) on his guitars which are similar to SBs in quality and precision. Nevertheless do the SBs enter the rarity market today with high prices from around 300-400.- € per set.
Read more -> Features of original Favino-Guitars (3/3)
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