This beautiful instrument has a label attributing it to Antonino Fiore of Syracuse, Siciliy. The label specifies that it is the "Specialita" model and that it is a "CHITARRE PER SOLISTI JAZZ - RADIO." Casa Musicale Antonio Fiore
still exists and operates as a retail music store.
The question is whether they actually built this instrument back in the 50s. It most strongly resembles instruments produced by Carbonell, sharing several common elements such as a Y shaped nickel tailpiece, screwed on celluloid pickguard, three piece beech/walnut neck, and a round soundhole (see photos of Carbonells below.) Marisa Fiore, Antonino's granddaughter who now operates the shop, recalled that her grandfather worked with many other luthiers but couldn't say specifically if he had any relationship with Carbonell.
And here is a photo of Django playing Marcel Bianchi's Carbonell:
The question is whether or not Carbonell actually built this instrument and then rebranded it with Fiore's label. This was a common practice at that time, but it was more typical for Sicilian guitars to get French labels, not the other way around.
Regardless of who made it, the guitar itself is a wonderful period piece with a stylish look and a robust vintage tone. It features a spruce top, attractive birdseye maple back and sides, and a three piece neck crafted from beech wood with a walnut spline. The bridge is a hybrid flatop/archtop design with an elongated base that is glued down and fitted with a saddle. The fashionable Y shaped nickel talipiece and three-on-a-plate tuners are original. This ornate model has been embellished with an ivoroid pickguard and binding, inlaid fingerboard borders, and ivoroid tailpiece decorations.
The tone is warm, full, and lush as the short 640mm scale and non-cut body optimize the guitar for maximum resonance. It's small proportions also make it a breeze to play, with slinky string tension and low 2.2mm action.
The condition of this instrument is very good. It has numerous dings and scratches but no serious damage. The frets are new.
Here's a chance to own a guitar with great vintage mojo that is not just a great sounding instrument, but a fashion statement as well!
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