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Mischa gypsymyk jensmolander RussellBib

Rene Gerome guitar

in History Posts: 28

Ive just picked up a Rene Gerome to restore to playing condition. Does anyone know what the model and date of it would be? I know these guitars are 40's/50's. Have seen two headstock types and two different inlay designs on the purflings and sound hole on the internet. Some have celluloid pick guards some wood. Many are called "artisan" or rm 738 as model types on the web ( to me it looks more like misreading the label? I have also seen model jazz on this site. Any clarification much appreciated. Anyone restored one? Any surprises, i can see a dowel in the neck heel with original finish over! Screw or dowel? Odd.

It was living in an attic in Arle. Hence very crispy!



  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Hoyer, Epiphone x2, Burns x2, & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 843

    Nice guitar. I have wanted to try one of these for a long time and I was tempted by that one too, but being as there are problems shipping to Australia at the moment I decided against it, the last one I got from France took ten weeks. Still you got it at a good price and obviously there was no delay getting it from France to UK. You have a few cracks to repair (not too difficult) but the celluloid scratchplate might be too far gone; you may be able to flatten it with some gentle heat, I wonder if anyone on here has had any success with fixing them? If not, I would just replace it with a suitable veneer.

    These Geromes seem to turn up regularly in France and I have only ever heard of them described with generic terms like 'Gypsy', 'Jazz' or 'Manouche' but as far as I have seen they never had an official model designation or name.

    Good luck and post photos of your progress.

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M,
    Posts: 865

    My gypsy jazz partner in crime, Andy W, bought one of these and restored it. I can't remember if he posted on here but it's a great wee guitar. It projects well and is easy to play. I think these guitars were put together really quickly, one of the braces on Andys was at a really odd angle and, if I remember correctly, they are braced very lightly.

    Good luck with your restoration.

    always learning
  • Posts: 28

    Thanks for your comments. Yes the scratch plate is too far gone. Sometimes warm water and pressure can help but its way too curled and solid. Will maybe cut out the flowers and do an inlay on my own tortoise shell guard. Andy W did post some pics of the rebracing he did.

  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo et. al.
    Posts: 505

    ah, so you’ve seen the pics of my back-off resto, cool. I felt sure the top cracks were caused by lack of bracing, so added some H shaped Selmer style bracing under bridge. It’s definitely the “driest” of my 3 vintage GJ guitars. There are two distinct versions of this Gerome, yours has the bound edges and more complicated soundhole pattern inlay, mine is simpler soundhole and plain edge binding- I think my style is earlier version - otherwise I guess both versions are similar. Ive long lost my celluloid flower and tortoiseshell inlays, hope you can keep yours, maybe a tray of some celluloid thinners solvents would soften them up enough to flatten them out and reuse. Nice wee guitars, and relatively easy to find. Big thanks to Alan for a better set of DeLaRuelle tuners.

    p.s. are you in Scotland, Rabbit??

  • AndyWAndyW Glasgow Scotland UK✭✭✭ Clarinets & Saxes- Selmer, Conn, Buescher, Leblanc // Guitars: Gerome, Caponnetto, Napoli, Musicalia, Bucolo et. al.
    Posts: 505

    i’ve also been watching this big “Modèle Américain” Gerome on eBay for months at offers around 1200 euros, a lot rarer than ours, I think.

  • Posts: 28


    They all seem to crack in the same way. Need to do a thorough check inside. Additional bracing may be the way to go. Would rather not get the back off if I have to, the wooden binding looks like it might suffer too much. However if it needs to then it does. Will let you know how the thinners go on the pick guard. Will keep a bucket of water handy! Have worked old celluloid before but all the french stuff of this period seems the most unstable of the lot.

    Not in Scotland but west sussex. Close though my dads from Glasgow.

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