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Help me identify this old GJ guitar..

I've come across this old D-hole model Gypsy Jazz guitar, and I am not sure who made it. I haven't played it but only received pictures of it, and it could be a Busato, then again it might not be, I'm really not sure, as the tailpiece is incorrect. There seems to have been some restoration work on it, since it looks like the tuners are not orginial.

I'll post the pictures here, hoping someone knows what guitar this is, as the owner wants me to pay 650 EUR for it. It might be a steal!


  • Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    edited June 2018 Posts: 435
    Looks identical to my Sonora.
    Some say these were made by Busato and the arched back with no braces and the 13th fret neck joint are often described as typical Busato but I have also heard these as attributed to Carmelo Catania.
    Interestingly some have the Sonora brand on the upper bout and in that case usually had the typical Sonora tailpiece with the cast 'S'. It has been suggested that Sonora was a brand applied to guitars sold in Italy, but many have surfaced in France too.
    There are equally many examples of the same guitar without any Sonora markings.
    Through the 1950s Busato was so busy with his retail outlets that he no longer had time to make guitars himself and the majority of the mass produced ones were made for him by Pierre Fontaine.
    Then there is the mystery of why the Jacobacci book shows another the same with the label made for Gaillard & Loiselet by Jose Sanchez of Spain. The thinking being that Jose Sanchez was a fictional name used by Jacobacci but it seems more likely that Sanchez was a fake name used by Gaillard & Loiselet, a major retailer of Lyon who did have guitars made for them by Jacobacci but they also bought in guitars from other makers and applied the same label, so yes, it is possible that Gaillard & Loiselet were having guitars made by either Busato or Catania as well as Jacobacci and applying the Sanchez label.
    From what I have seen I would suggest although Jacobacci made guitars sold through Gaillard & Loiselet as Sanchez, this was not one of them and appears in the book because the author thought ALL Sanchez guitars were by Jacobacci.
    It is known that Jacobacci and Catania were close friends so they may have even worked together either by sharing designs, moulds and tooling or by filling orders for each other according to who was busy and who had the capacity.
    So, to answer the question, it may be by Busato, Catania, Fontaine or Jacobacci according to which story you believe.
    The guitar in those photos appears to need some repairs and restoration so unless you can do this yourself 650 Euros may be a little high for a guitar with no known name attached. If on the other hand someone can positively prove these were made by Busato then yes of course it would make financial sense.
    LeonPt-birdBill Da Costa WilliamsBuco
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