VINTAGE GUITAR SERIES: Antoine Di Mauro "St Louis Blues"
Posted by Tommy Davy on Aug 9th 2018
Featured in this edition is a look at one of the most innovative guitar making legacy's in Parisian luthierie In 1925 Joseph Di Mauro (1894-1966) arrived from Catania to Paris to begin producing everything from Banjos, Mandolins, Tenor Guitars and Harp Guitars. Much like other instrument houses of the day such as Busato; they offered affordable and popular styles of instruments. His guitars were most notably played by Baro Ferre.
In 1934 Antoine Di Mauro (The brother of Joseph) would arrive to Paris and also begin producing instruments such as mandolins. In 1936 he started his own workshop and began producing what would soon become one of the most played "brands" guitars in France.
The house of A. DiMauro produced Selmer like models with names like "Boogie Woogie" (Maccaferri Style) "St Louis Blues" (Selmer) and their most iconic and unique design: "The Special Chorus". This model combined the Selmer design with f-holes of an arch top. Musicians such as Django Reinhardt, Henri Salvador, Sacha Distel all were seen playing a Di Mauro at some point in their career...and for good reason!
Featured above is a fantastic example of an early 1950's "St Louis Blues". Quilted maple back and sides, cedar top and a 3 piece neck in the traditional Di Mauro fashion. You can notice that guitars produced by Di Mauro at this time typically bear a burned in stamp on the back of the headstock. Also pictured is the original DiMauro catalogue that advertises the model "St. Louis Blues" and the "Special Chorus". When you play this particular instrument you immediately notice the musicality, responsiveness and balance! A recommended experience!
Photos courtesy of DjangoGuitars Private Collection.