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(3) Fabricatore family's instruments - notable features and tendency


Paper was used in the guitars

This time I found that a special common technique was used between Giovanni Battista family and Gennaro family. As a tendency in early 1800's, I found three guitars have paper inside. There is no guarantee that this is the standard method, but using paper is a notable fact. Giovanni Battista pasted paper inside the back boards and the whole side boards . At first, I thought they used paper to repair. But, observing the son Raffaele 's guitar and Gennaro's, now I have confidence that using paper is their original specification.


Enlarged photos of the instruments (parts paper is used)



Gennaro (I and II)


We see paper tapes in the Raffaele's guitar, which look like fastening the back board and the side ribs. The father Giovanni Battista's guitar and the son Raffaele's have two common structures :(1) there is no lining on the back boards and the side boards, and (2) the boards are very thin(1mm) . In those days mandolins generally have paper inside. As Fabricatore family is famous for production of lutes, guitars, and mandolins, I suppose that they use paper for their instruments as routine. The effective use of paper gives a special strength to thin board .

Giovanni Battista's 1806 guitar also has paper. And it is embossed with a letter "s" or "f" at the bottom of the back board(near the end block). There is a trace that it was embossed after attaching the paper, and it seemed to be done on purpose.

On the other hand, regarding Gennaro family, Gennaro Fabricatore's Terz guitar with 1833 label has paper tapes inserted between the side board and the jacaranda belt on the side board. It is also original specification because paper is used throughout the instrument including not-damaged parts.

Fabricatore family was manufacturing paper from 18th to 19th century. According to Francesca's research, Nicola played a key role in manufacturing instruments and managing a papermill as the founder. The research says "In 1820, he had already possessed a papermill and sold scores with Nicola Ricci brand. In 1825, they moved to Toledo Street172 . Gennaro I moved the guitar factory and the papermill to Toledo Street 297 and there they sold instruments as well as scores."

As I confirmed that no instrument was produced at Toledo Street 297 before 1825, it proves that the guitar factory was moved in 1825 as same as the papermill's move. In other words, Gennaro I was an entrepreneur running paper business, publishing and printing business, and manufacturing and selling guitars. There exists a large number of instruments with "Gennaro Fabricatore" labels. I suppose that they ordered guitar production(one of their departments) from outside manufacturers and attached "Gennaro Fabricatore" labels to the finished products, just as the other leading instrument brands did at that period.

Gennaro | had four sons : Gennaro II, GiuseppeAGiovanniAand Nicola. The series of music business was succeeded from Gennaro I to the sons, and to the grand children. The paper business seemed to be continued by the grand sons, Giuseppe Fabricatore and Gaetano Fabricatore, until the end of 19th century(cf. the family tree).

As you see, Gennaro family managed the large-scale business from early 1800's through end 1880's. On the other hand, Giovanni Battista family came to an end with the son Raffaele. Giovanni Battista and his son Raffaele were gradually decreasing manufacturing quantity after 1800's.

Guitar made with Paper lining ........ Update!!

1798 Gaetano Vinaccia +20031014
Label : Gaetanus Vinaccia fecit: Neapoli 1798 Nella Rua Catalana .
Private collection (France)

1785 G.B.Fabricatore +20031206
Label : Giovanni Battista Fabricatore Fecit in Neapoli Anno 1785 S.M. dell Ajuto N.32.
Private collection (England)

1779 Gaetano Vinaccia +20040726
Label : Gajetanus Vinaccia fecit Neapoli Strada Rua Catalana Num.85 Anno 1779 .
From web site at


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