History and Facts.
As you probably know (or not) there were two luthiers with the name Favino. Jacques, the father and Jean-Pierre, the son.
Jacques was born early July 1920 in Piemont, North-Italy. He and his family moved to Paris in 1923. Jacques served his apprenticeship at Busato guitars in Paris. Busato built the large-body guitars (versus the small, Selmer-style body) before Favino, and these guitars served as the model for Jacques. He was not "copying" Selmer; he was actually copying Busato! Jacques started the Favino workshop in 1946, he made his first guitar in the early 50's. He had a few workshops, but the most famous is the workshop at Rue de Clignancourt 9, at the bottom of the Montmartre in Paris. In his workshop were also working Gino Papiri and Ugo Teraneo. Jean-Pierre joined later.
In the 1970's Favinos were imported into the USA by a tiny company named Favino North America. To escape some sort of tax or custom duty, Jacques Favino shipped them completed but without any finish on them and then were finished here by the famous Wurlitzer organ factory, since the owner of the US company was friends with the Wurlitzer company. Joan Baez played one.
Since Jacques retired in 1978, he lived with his wife at the Côte D'Azur in France . He past away on December 20th 1999 in Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Jean-Pierre (1952) the son of Jacques, studied at the school of applied industrial Arts. Officially he entered the workshop in September 1973. He made his first guitar in the Spring of 1979 (Or earlier?). In 1983 he started to work alone in the workshop. But there was a time he had a pupil or assistant.
Musicians always have been very important for the Favino's. Their workshop was a meeting place for guitarists were they spoke about sound and comfort and were jamming. There always was a direct communication between the instrument and the musicmakers. JP considers himself as the intermediate between the musician and the instrument. In 1990 JP moved to Castelbiaque at the foot of the Pyrenees. His production is limited to thirty instruments a year. Twenty percent is standard and the rest is on demand/order.
- Jean-Pierre's workshop in Paris: 31 Rue Reuilty in Paris. Metro Reuilty-Didot. At the end of every month. Better always phone first!
- Jean-Pierre at Home: Les Gaouats 31160 Castel Biague France Tel : 05.61.90.10.27
In Belgium a 1952 Chauvet-Favino has been spotted. The inside label says: CHAUFET & FAVINO, the date is 1952 the nr. in not filled in. The guitar has 2 F-holes and a V-shaped neck. Could this be a real Favino? Romain. Who knows more about this interesting subject? Please mail!
Answer: I've been told that Chauvet and Favino have made Jazz-guitars in the 50's. They where equipped with a Tonemaster pick-up.
Rumor And GossipA Jacques is better than an Jean-Pierre. I have #1001 which is an superb guitar and I know a D-hole that beats every guitar. Both made by Jean-Pierre. Ok, some are better then others. I heard a rumor once that some of the Favinos in the late seventies (1978-1980) possibly do not sound as good and so be careful because this might be untrue.
There are also a few Favino's with both the names Jacques and Jean-Pierre on them. Story's tell that Jacques made the body and Jean-Pierre the rest!? Jacques left the workshop in 1978 and Jean-Pierre continued to use the old labels and name and he did not officially take over the workshop until between 1980 and 1983. (This is still not clear to me). Jacques also may have made guitars from old Selmer stock. This is true and I have played a few. They do not always carry the Selmer logo. See the oldest Favino in the Favino Archive. The body shape in these is different from the later Favino guitars. Matelot Ferret played one of these!
How to identify your Jacques Favino?
The Favino's used about 4 or 5 different kind of labels. The labels used between the end of the 70's until 1984 are often with both of the names and Jean-Pierre's label has been very similar to Jacques for a while. These guitars are a bit harder to to identify. The headstock label has had a few redesigns also.
The elder Jacques stopped working in 1978. Guitars after that date cannot be Jacques Favino's.
There should be no headstock label. Jean-Pierre introduced the golden name J-P Favino label at the head.
- The label inside the guitar should bare both Jacques name and signature. Some labels in Jean-Pierre's guitars say Jacques, with Jean-Pierre's handwriting! Also check the date. These marks should all be there! Look through the soundhole under the fretboard. There you'll see the block of wood under the fret board. If there is no stamp it's an Jacques. If you see a stamp it's made by Jean-Pierre. Also look at the left corner. Is it round? Jean-Pierre. Or is it an beveled edge? Jacques. But does is matter if the guitar is made by Jacques or Jean-Pierre, if it is a great sounding guitar?
How to value a Favino?
The value of a Favino as a priceless collectible is hard to judge. I think this is more due to age and the amount of cost it has taken over time to maintain the instrument rather than the names themselves. Both father and son created guitars of comparative quality and worth. My opinion is that a Favinos value should be equal to what you paid plus or minus capital improvements and depreciation. For example, if you put $250 into refretting the instrument, then generally its value increases by that amount, or your cost. Favinos have premium value because the cost of maintainance made it possible for them to survive. Collecting a Favino does not increase its value but playing it and repairing it does. Ultimately the Favino guitars sound unlike any other and their value is in their uniqueness and utility.