GUITAR BY GENNARO FABRICATORE, NAPOLI 1823

 

This is a decorative guitar with a 2 piece maple back and matching maple sides, the neck of alternating strips of light and dark wood extending onto the heel and the head. The pegs are original with ivory buttons and inlaid ivory stripes on the heads. The original nut is a sandwich of ivory and ebony stripes and the purflings are multiple contrasting wood strips edged with ivory. The complex bridge moustachio is of appliqué veneer, possibly stained pear.

The original printed label reads:

Gennaro Fabricatore

Anno 18[hs]23 Napoli

Strada S. Giacomo No 42

 

This is the Fabricatore model which provided the base for Staufer’s first style of guitar (1800 – 1820) and it is clear from the more robust construction of this instrument, that some of Staufer’s developments of this model have found their way back to Naples and to the workshop of Gennaro Fabricatore.

The guitar had been very poorly repaired at some point in the late 20th century and the entire soundboard had been doubled.

To effect the restoration it was necessary to completely disassemble the guitar, remove the unoriginal wood and re-bar the soundboard and back using other Gennaro Fabricatore instruments as a guideline. The liners also needed to be changed due to damage in previous repair and an area of the soundboard was reinforced with new wood. The fretboard was also unoriginal and a new ebony fretboard was fitted with 1mm nickel silver bar frets that follow the fretting pattern visible on the neck of the original frets.

The result is a fully playable instrument with all the tonal characteristics of Fabricatore – a strong clear and projecting fundamental tone with excellent projection and definition. Due to the extensive nature of the restoration, all the functional glue joints have been renewed with hide glue and the instrument is tight and stable.

 

 

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Photos During Restoration:

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The original fret positions were copied in preparing the new fretboard.

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The Belly in pre-restoration condition – the bars and doubled belly are from a mid-20th century repair and were removed to expose the original wood. New bars were fitted based on originals from other Fabricatore instruments.

 

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