1936 Porazzo F-Hole

1936 Porazzo F-Hole

This one is another mystery, though I may have some clues. It is a beautiful, obviously hand-made arched-top guitar, with a printed label inside stating David B. Porazzo / Manufacturer of / High-Grade Mandolins / Mandolas & Guitars / REPAIRING A SPECIALTY / NEW YORK   Hand-written on the upper left corner of the label is May, 1935; on the lower left No. 10; on the lower right MEDFORD MASS   It is signed, in script, David B. Porazzo. It also has No. 10. written by hand inside on the back, directly on the wood. Porazzo was born in LaTufo, Italy (near Naples). He was a luthier, and after coming to America worked at a mandolin shop in the Bronx, NY. He later opened his own shop in the Bronx, then went to work for Majestic Banjo Co. in NY and eventually became 50 % owner. The company was later dissolved and Porazzo moved to East Boston, Mass. He bought a home in Medford, and opened a high end mandolin and string instrument shop on Main St. there. The condition of this instrument is as I got it, many years ago, with some finish issues on the back, the back seam open, and the back coming loose in the area of the tail block. The frets are in good condition and the neck is quite straight; there is a steel bar inside it, as  proven by a magnet test. The fingerboard and peghead have lovely, engraved mother-of-pearl inlays, and here is where a clue may come in. Back in the early 1960s, I acquired, from the widow of a man named Frank Porazzo, all of the leftover material from his workshop. Mr Porazzo was a cutter of mother-of-pearl, and he had supplied inlays to many of the guitar and banjo makers here in New York from the 1920s onward. There were pre-cut inlays, patterns, stencils, and more, much of which I recognized from various older instruments I had seen over the years. The inlays on this guitar are straightforward, and the engraving is in a style I recognize from that on D’Angelico guitars from the same period and later. Hand-engraving is like handwriting, and the style is strikingly similar. There were many Italian-Americans in the fretted instrument world here in New York in those days, and they all seemed to know each other, many doing business with each other, and in fact, one day when I was about sixteen years old, John D’Angelico sent me on an errand to deliver a tailpiece to the engraver he used, just a few blocks from his own shop here in Little Italy; I learned quite a lot from that little exchange. Was David Porazzo somehow related to Frank Porazzo? Could be, and invites research. So…here is what with some careful work will become once again a wonderful, original 1930s carved-top acoustic guitar of extremely high quality, made by a master. It needs only a new home and a willing participant. Offered as is for $2495 w/hsc

w/hsc

$2495.00
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