Marie-José Neuville holding a beautiful Busato Grand Modèle in the mid 50s.
1930's Flat Top
this is an extremely rare, AND extremely early Busato Guitar..sporting the rue d'Orgemont label from 1934... never seen nor heard of another one..when I found it, it was in need of tender loving care.. it took great dedication for Carl Meine of Wisconsin to bring it back to life..!!! largely inspired by the banjos of the time, Bortolo Busato brought the "Nacro-laque" to this guitar, and likely inspired by Gibson and it's use of the "new material" on the fingerboard of the "Century of Progress" model, as well as Italian accordions of the period..interestingly conceived as a hybrid instrument..steel string Flat Top, but with a tailpiece and a "floating" bridge just like the French gypsy guitars of the times..excellent playability and truly most uniquely interesting sound..laminated rosewood back and sides..mahogany neck..solid spruce top... she is a one of a kind..!!! NHSC $4,500.00
1940's Moyen Modèle # 43
Known as the "Moyen Modèle"..Petite Bouche "Egg Shaped".. with the " Cité Griset" white label on the neck block.. 680mm scale..Selmer size, but 1cm shallower.. laminated rosewood back and sides..solid spruce top..solid mahogany neck with ebonized fingerboard.. this guitar was likely made during or right after the War..
it came with the crummiest tuners and tailpiece, and the top was made with several pieces of spruce, as I imagined the supply of wood was thin from years of war..
considering that it was an "accepted practice", they gave those pieces a name.. "Chanteaux"..the guitar is outfitted with Schaller gypsy tuners and a Delaruelle Busato replica tailpiece..it was also refretted, so now the playabilty and action are perfect..the back of these are "thermo-formed" and not braced, so they are stiffer and produce an even barkier and more compressed sound than the others.. creating the distinctive in your face kinda voice.. this guitar wants to be played..!!! NHSC $9,500.00
1942 Grand Modèle # 44
"Grand Modèle 44".. this is BB's model that always rivaled with Selmer.. most probably built in the latter part of 1942, the headstock shows the Boulevard de Ménilmontant plaque. laminated Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, solid Spruce top,Mahogany neck with Ebony fingerboard..original BB tuners, with a reissue BB tailpiece. the neck was reset, over-sprayed, and the board was re-fretted. one can see that prior to resetting the neck, two "plugs were present.. at some point, somebody installed a Stimer 48 behind the bridge, leaving a visible shadow, but fortunately without damaging the top at all..the cosmetic touch up clearly shows what was done.. the top is in great shape, and retains it's original "bombé".. the action is spot on, and the playability as good as it gets. Grand Modèles are getting harder and harder to find in any condition..this one is simply outstanding..great projection, with loads of natural reverb in the upper register. needs nothing but to be played..!!! NHSC $16,500.00
This is the first F hole Busato i have ever had..by the time it was built, the one feature that made it a "special" Jazz guitar was a radiused fingerboard..it is in excellent condition with it's original set of BB tuners and tailpiece. 670mm scale, with it's black finish it is hard to determine the outer wood it's made of..could be maple..could be mahogany. bits of the fingerboard inlays are broken off, but it does not hinder playing.
the neck is quite modern in contour, and the playability is perfect.
it not only sounds great with a broad spectrum voice, it literally "sings".. this is truly an amazing sounding and playing guitar