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Louis Patenotte Grand Bouche

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Label: White oval label, 88 Mattaincourt

Body size at lower bout: 16" Scale length: 25-1/4" Nut width: 1 13/16'

Materials: Solid bookmatched spruce top; curly maple back and sides; solid one-piece maple neck; solid ebony fingerboard; mother of pearl fingerboard inlays; checkerboard rosewood and pearl top binding; ivoroid back binding; ornate floral soundhole rosette.

Hardware: All original hardware including inlaid translucent tortoise pickguard; compensated ebony bridge; nickel three-on-a-plate tuners; nickel trapeze tailpiece.

Notes: They all wanted loud guitars. Before the era of the Marshall stack, jazzmen scrubbed on oversized archtops. Blues and Hawaiian players slid on resonator boxes. And the Gypsies of Europe beat out Le Jazz Manouche on Maccaferri inspired guitars by the great builders of Paris. Names like Selmer, Favino, Busato, DiMauro, and the renowned luthiers of Mirecourt, including the Brothers Gerome, and Louis Patenotte, founder of a guitar dynasty lasting to this day. Lightweight, resonant, and loud as thunder, this instrument is a classic Grand Bouche (large mouth) guitar in the Django style. Its solid spruce top is lightly braced in the traditional ladder style, supported by maple of tiger flame figure, particularly in the sides. Unique decorative touches include a floral soundhole rosette, and the distinctive body binding, alternating pearl with rosewood in a checkerboard motif.

True gypsy guitars are played with abandon, yet this guitar has survived better than many of its counterparts from the postwar era. Though most likely dating to the early 50's, the face shows no careless pick wear, and the back is similarly free of buckle rash. The top and back show no cracks, and the one substantial fissure in the side has been soundly repaired along its length from one side of the lower bout to the other. With it's 25 1/4" scale neck and 3 1/2" deep body, the guitar can be heard a block away, even with feather-gauge Argentine type strings. A rare opportunity to own a true vintage Parisian gypsy guitar, at a price even the copies can't match.

Setup: The frets have been precision leveled, crowned and polished; bridge compensation set; string slots at nut and bridge inspected and recut as necessary; bridge foot contour inspected and fit to top as necessary; bridge radius inspected and recurved as necessary; fingerboard and bridge oiled; body and neck cleaned and hand polished. This instrument is strung with light gauge gypsy jazz strings (.010). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference.

Case: Plush hardshell case.











































































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