• Chris MartinChris Martin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Petrarca, Catelluccia, Bucolo, Martino, Hofner, Hoyer, Burns
    Posts: 512

    Marc Laberte (1880-1963) was descended from a family of luthiers active in Mirecourt since 1780. He joined with Fourier Magnié (1868–1946) in 1915 but the name Laberte et Magnié only came into use in 1927 after the partners had taken over several other workshops in the area.  Laberte had a collection of the finest early Italian violins, Stradavarius, Amati etc which he studied closely and made a range of exact replicas that were labelled as such including the original maker's label along with that of L&M. They were supposedly top quality and as good as the originals, one has to wonder in today's market if..........oh surely nobody would.......

    They are historically better known for violins and other bowed instruments but certainly they also made guitars and mandolins in that period too. WW2 saw most of the factories and tooling destroyed and although there were attempts to start up again in 1944 they never really regained their market and faded in the 1950s.  

    That style of guitar was sold under the name Carmencita but interestingly I have seen these dated as 1931 which of course would predate even Maccaferri. I believe the reason is that there must have been a trade show where Laberte et Magnié won an award and the labels inside bore the legend ‘Grand Prix de Paris 1931’. Even so, their guitars were mostly of a standard Spanish style and these Gypsy Jazz modes are not that common, but when they do turn up for sale in France they are usually only about 500Euros.

    Coincidentally the shape and design is very similar to the guitars of Henri Miller also from Mirecourt, did one copy the other?

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