1920s Radnazzo Guitar

1920s Radnazzo Guitar

All you out there of Italian descent, or Italian-American descent (I’ve got some in my family as well), know full well that the name Randazzo is a not-uncommon one, especially here in New York. There's Randazzo’s Clam Bar out in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, near where I grew up and a place I still frequent; it’s a name heard often in these parts. But Radnazzo? I don’t think so, has got to be a printer’s error on the label of this stunning old guitar, almost surely made right here in New York nearly a century ago. Randazzo is a town in Catania, in southern Italy, near the foot of Mt Etna, and we know how so many emigrants to America got their last names when coming through Ellis Island. ”Your name?”. “Giovanni”. “Last name?”. “I no understand”. "Where you from?”. “Randazzo“. “OK, you’re Giovanni Randazzo”. And so it went. The label inside this beautiful instrument reads Giovanni Radnazzo / MANUFACTURER OF / FINE / GUTARS AND MANDOLINS / 319 E 152nd ST. / N.Y.  That address is in what is now called the Melrose section of the Bronx; the block itself long since having been subsumed by a housing project. Made in the 12-fret neck, slotted peghead style of the time, the guitar has gorgeous Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a beautiful ultra-fine-grained spruce top, ebony fingerboard and bridge, and white celluloid binding on the body, fingerboard, and peghead. The real clue though, that it was made here in America and surely New York, are the fingerboard and peghead inlays. The fingerboard has four of the exact six-petaled “snowflakes” that are seen on Martins of the day, those inlays having been made by Handel, here in NYC. I went to Handel’s place in the early 1960s, and he gave me all his leftover inlays from pre-war Martins, and other stuff, and I can guarantee that these are his, could identify them with a blindfold on. The peghead inlay is a spray of leaves seen on several early New York-made banjos, same source; there were several people here back then supplying all the local fretted instrument makers with inlays and inlaid veneers, and Handel was a major one. This guitar has been in my personal collection for at least forty years and could use some restoration; I just never got around to it. It is simply gorgeous in a very understated way, and has a perfect varnish finish. The back seam is a little open, there are undoubtedly some loose braces, one gear is missing, perhaps a few other small areas that need a bit of attention, but all this is nothing that a professional repair/restoration person couldn’t handle. Comes with its original velvet-lined hard shell case. Offered as is at $3495 w/ohsc

w/ohsc

$3495.00
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