When Martin entered into its “Golden Age” for the flat top guitar, the jazz guitar was evolving on a parallel and equally important track. And in Europe, especially France, they had their own ideas about guitar making, and produced some brilliant guitars in this era–including of course the wonderful Selmer gypsy jazz guitar.
The brothers Gerome were among the best luthiers in Mirecourt, France, a city famous in Europe for producing the finest gypsy and jazz guitars, in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. This all original, gypsy style guitar has maple back and sides, to give that high, twangy tone, just what you want in a django-style guitar. This one has loud piercing trebles–the treble strings are louder and more piercing than any guitar of any kind I have ever heard. Only maple produces that loud sharp treble. The volume of this instrument is striking, and there is almost a “reverb”, resonant quality to the tone. Solid spruce top. Black & white checkerboard marquetry binding on top, and rosette. It has a very thick rosewood fingerboard (over 4/10 inches/10.5mm thick!) Maple neck. Nut just shy of 1 7/8 inch. Wonderful bakelite buttons on the tuners.
And it would not be a genuine gypsy jazz classic, if it did not have the hallmarks of this style: the original “floating bridge”–not an “adjustable brigde” for height, but a floating rosewood bridge that is not glued to the top, but held on by string tension (the “wings” of the bridge are glued to the top in this configuration). (You can of course change the intonation with this set-up.) The other feature that is a must, is the “zero fret”, i.e. there is a fret (the “zero” fret) right in front of the nut.
14-5/8 inch wide at lower bout. All original finish. A couple of small cracks on top. Top center seam repair. Original T-frets show wear, but still work fine. No buzzing. Action is good. Takes loop-end strings (available from many sources–Savarez Argentine strings are great on this instrument).