Clifford Essex Maccaferri Guitar - Marco Roccia

Hi all,

New to the forum. I was hoping someone out there might be able to help me or point me in the right direction regarding a guitar I own.

Its a Clifford Essex model Serial SP MG 27052. From research I understand MG stands for Maccaferri Guitar and from the initial three numbers it was built in February 1970. I was wondering what the SP stands for, special? selmer parts? - any ideas?

Thank you, Steve

WilliebillyshakesBucoBill Da Costa Williams


  • stuologystuology New
    Posts: 136

    I would guess it means Special by where the dots are - it's SP. M.G. not S.P. M.G. which suggest it stands for one word not two - and since Clifford Essex were known for their special order guitars, that makes sense.

  • G4peiG4pei New
    edited August 22 Posts: 13

    Hi stuology - yep, that's my thinking too. Probably a custom order as I haven't seen a Maccaferri style guitar advert by Clifford Essex but I have seen one other guitar by Marco which only had the M.G. prefix.

    I'd love to know what was special about it.

  • edited August 22 Posts: 4,109

    I'd think Selmer petite.

    Never mind, Stu is probably correct...

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • G4peiG4pei New
    edited August 22 Posts: 13

    Selmer Petite - I like that! Marco was a friend of Mario Maccaferri and did go to the Selmer factory and purchase wood, accessories etc. when it closed....

    But I think Stu is probably on the money.

  • Posts: 4,109

    Then it's a very unique guitar just based on that.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Posts: 19

    Hi Steve,

    I carried out some research on this probably 25 years ago and was passed to a guy who worked in the Clifford Essex shop when they were in Shaftsbury Avenue, I think in the sixties or maybe earlier.

    Unfortunately I can't settle the discussion over the "SP" but I do know the last couple of numbers refer to the number of instruments comissioned for that year, most being top end banjos. After a short visit in the late 50's - early 60's, Marco Roccia, along with Louis Gallo returned to London from Paris in a van containing an assortment of guitar parts from the old Selmer factory. Amongst these components were several sets of Salvator Baladi machines, some tops and some very nice, rosewood back and sides. Interestingly of all, several necks were also in the shipment, partly finished and all stamped with the Selmer serial number - Cheers

    G4peiBucoBill Da Costa Williams
  • G4peiG4pei New
    Posts: 13

    That's very interesting and thank you for the reply. Someone did suggest SP could mean 'shape parts' eg assembled from a pre-existing body and neck which I thought was unlikely, but based on your comment it could be possible. The headstock is not stamped and the tuners had been replaced with a cheap set. I've since had Richard Bartram check the guitar over and replace the tuners with a set more becoming of the instrument.

    It sounds lovely to my ears but I really underestimated the skill involved in playing Gypsy Jazz! Over 40 years of playing seems to have been thrown out the window - I'm not sure I'll make it!

    BucoBill Da Costa Williams
  • Posts: 4,109

    Since it Sp. implies a single word as Stu spotted, I suppose it could mean "spares" but it seems far fetched a builder would give importance to where the material came from.

    This is a funny genre. I recently watched a live show of a solo jazz guitar. This young guy is as virtuosic as anyone I ever heard, think Joe Pass. I talked to him after the show and when I mentioned I play in the style of Django, he replied "oh man, I kept trying that, I just couldn't get it".

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • G4peiG4pei New
    Posts: 13

    Hi Buco - I'm with you on that one. In the absence of further 'proof' I'm sticking with 'Special' which could have been a special order or special because its made of Selmer parts. Maybe I'll never know.

    In terms of the genre, I've been aware of Django of years and really admired his playing. However, I really didn't appreciate the magnitude of what he was doing until I tried to learn a little bit of it!

    To be honest, I think it might have got the better of me. Around 40 years of blues/rock playing appear to count for nothing! Arpeggio's, right hand position, picking technique, the list goes on. I did communicate with an acquaintance who plays Gypsy jazz and he knows my standard too. His initial comment was "it'll feel like learning to ride a bike, all over again"!

    BucoBill Da Costa Williams
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