1831 Gennaro Fabricatore II

1831 Gennaro Fabricatore II

Naples, Italy

Gennaro Fabricatore II of Naples worked with his father, Gennaro I, building fine guitars in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was also the grandnephew of the legendary luthier Giovanni Battista Fabricatore, credited with building some of the earliest six single-string guitars.

Date 1831
Location Naples, Italy
Length of Guitar 950mm
String Length 648mm
Upper Bout Width 240mm
Waist Width 170mm
Lower Bout Width 305mm
Side Depth at Waist 84mm
Soundboard: Spruce | Back: Curly Maple | Sides: Curly Maple | Details: Fitted with a scroll-shaped headstock with encased inline tuners.

The 1831 Gennaro Fabricatore II in the Austin-Marie Collection reveals newer trends in guitar construction. The neck continues to the sound hole, although the frets are still flush with the soundboard unlike the raised fretboards employed by many of Gennaro’s contemporaries. The most conspicuous development, however, is revealed by the headstock. Gone are the tuning pegs from his father’s and great uncle’s guitars, now replaced by enclosed, inline mechanical tuners in a scroll-shaped design backed by an engraved metal plate. Gennaro was no doubt influenced by the work of the acclaimed luthier Johann Stauffer of Vienna, who first introduced the scroll-shaped design in the mid-1820s.

The earlier contributions of the Fabricatores to guitar design are unparalleled, but their later instruments were somewhat conservative. Elaborate inlays with bridge mustachios, embedded necks that met the body before the octave (or 12th fret), friction pegs and one-piece backs, for example, were all design elements that became increasingly outdated during the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, the Fabricatores continued manufacturing fine instruments into the 1850s.