The Story of Selmer Maccaferri Guitars

By François Charle

The Story of Selmer Maccaferri guitars

The luthier François Charle was born in Paris in 1949. He is an authority on Classical, Traditional and Modern French stringed instruments. In 1979 he and his wife Rosyne took over from Daniel and François Sinier de Ridder the instrument shop and workshop in the Galerie Véro-Dodat, an historic arcade in the center of Paris.
His liking for Selmer-Maccaferri guitars took a decisive turn when he had the opportunity to buy the tooling stock of woods and spare parts of the old Selmer workshop. He became fascinated by the somewhat hazy history behind this guitar and the myth that is represented. So he threw himself into a ten year long research project, using archeological type methods to unearth all the available information on these mythical guitars.
 This book is much more than a compilation of the results of this inquiry into "Django Reinhardt's guitar", it is a real plunge into a world whose inhabitants have a passion for instrument making and music.

At the Samois festival in June 99, I had the honor of meeting this remarkable man whose unstinting efforts have culminated in this truly fantastic creation. Because of the limited imagination of various publishers, François Charle has had to pay for the preparation, photography, layout, printing, binding, production and selling of this limited edition of 2000 copies, available in English as well as  French, a remarkable feat, helped by friends and supporters who paid in advance for their precious copy, whose names can be found in the back of this tombe.

D Hole with resonator and classic oval hole Selmers
Mario Macaferri in the Selmer workshop


Mario Maccaferri

The Guitars

First Period: 1932-1933

The Gut string models

The Selmer Maccaferri models

The six string Concert model with cutaway

The Espagnoi model

The Concert Harpe model

Portrait of Django Advertising Selmer Guitars by Michel Siner

The Classique model

Django Reinhardt

The steel string models

The Orchestre model known as the Jazz model

The 4 string Grand Modèle

The 4 string Eddie Freeman

The Tenor model

The Hawiaen model

Baro Feret

Selmer label: No 162 Orchestra

Transitional Period: 1934 1935

The transitional models

Joseph Reinhardt

Second Period: 1934-1935

The Selmer Models


The Django Reinhardt Models

Lucien Guerienet

The Mapel Model with flat headstock

Pierre Roulot

Serane Ferret

The Body

The Top

The resonating soundbox

The Tuning Machines

The tailpiece

Matelo Ferret

Henre Selmer Logo

The bridge

The Cases

The neck

The Trademarks

The closing down of production

Henri Crolla

Stimer Pickups

Didi Duprat

Copies of Selmer Models

In Django’s Wake

Francois Charle:  The Story of Selmer Maccaferri Guitars. 256 page limited edition printing, May 1999. Cloth bound 450 Francs. Available only from Francois Charle

All enqueries to Francois Charle       

Or visit his Web Site

Review of The Story of Selmer Maccaferri Guitars by Kevin Doherty