In the early years of 1899 to 1932 the Selmer-Company (Paris) was only building Horns, Clarinettes and Saxophones, starting their guitar-production in early 1932 until late 1952 when they finally stopped their guitar production-series. More on that in our article Selmer-History.
Nowadays the Selmer-guitars, of which only around 950 of them have been produced in the short period of 20 years between 1932 and 1952, have become really rare and sought after.
On the actual market they often get sold at prices between 15.000.- to 30.000.- EUR up to "OpenEnd"-prices depending on their age and state. A real pristine looking like "out of the box" SELMER might cost even up to 40-50.000.-EURos as of its rarity.
Lots of myths and stories are ranking around Selmers but many (Gypsyjazz-)guitarrists don´t know about the real facts of these instruments.
For that reason we have done intense research and put together all these facts on one place here into our articles. All features of the original SELMER-Guitars (Paris) get listed with images and exact details and features (see also -> The Selmer-/Maccaferri-Guitar).
So you may inform yourself about the true facts, for example before buying such an expensive instrument,
or as well just for the fun of it to know more about these fascinating guitars.
In the further article(s) of this series we focus and briefly describe the details and features of original Selmer-Guitars with exact description and images.
General features of Selmer-/Maccaferri-Guitars
• In the years from 1932 up to 1938 Selmer-/Maccaferri only produced the Guitar-Models "Orchestre" (with) and "Hawaiian" (without) Cutaway, the so called "D-hole"-Models (Photo left and right) with a short-scale (65") and a neck-joint at the 12. fret. Later on the Model "Orchestre" got renamed into "Grand Bouche".
• The Selmer-/Maccaferri-Models from 1932 to 1935/36 had an engraving on their headplate with the Patent-No. 10.431. Some guitars also had an engravement with the name of Maccaferri (see image right).
• The Selmer-Guitar-Models had engraved Patent-No. 376.338 starting from year 1936 on the headplate as well.
• the later Selmer-series starting from 1938 were missing these engravings completely instead showing the signet "Henri Selmer / Paris" with the typical Selmer-sign (see photo 4 headplate below).
• Starting from around 1939 the SELMER-company started to built the first series of the Model "Jazz", which were especially desigend for guitarrists like Django Reinhardt or Matelot Ferret by Mario Macafferri just shortly before he left the Selmer-Company.
These so called "O-hole"-guitars (also known as "Petit Bouche" (french f. "small mouth"), had a long-scale-neck (67") and had the neckjoint at 14th fret. By that Solists had more possibilities of also playing higher notes on their guitars, why these guitars have been and still (even today) are especially beeing used by Solo-guitarrists.
• The so called Maccaferri-Design (Model "Hawaiian" and "Orchestre") with the D-hole (later "Grande bouche", french f. "big mouth") only existed from 1931/32 until around 1938/39.
The later released Selmer-Design (Modell "Jazz") with the oval Soundhole ("Petite bouche") was also designed by Macafferri, but just has been released around 1939 until around End of 1952 when the guitar-production finally was canceled by SELMER (see also our Selmer-History).
So if you might one day get an offer for buying "a real original old Selmer-Guitar from 1932" with an O-hole ("Petit Bouche") you might emediately know that this must be a fake, as they just haven´t been produced then!
(All images remain copyrighted by their respective owners ©2010)
Read more about -> Features of original Selmer-Guitars (2/3)
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