Mario Maccaferri and His Harp Guitars

by Gregg Miner

Part of a 4-part Special Feature



Maccaferri Catalogs
(Members Only)

Maccaferri Iconography

Marvelous Mozzani!
The Incredible Harp Guitars of Luigi Mozzani


Because previous writings about Maccaferri’s career are conflicting or at minimum, fairly confusing, I think it prudent to attempt to create an approximate timeline of Maccaferri’s key activities concerning his lutherie and performing careers. As with all articles on, I hope to update and improve historical data whenever and wherever possible, and ask for input from anyone with ideas or information.

Mario Maccaferri Timeline

1900 Born in Cento
1911 Begins apprenticeship with Mozzani (both in lutherie and as a guitar student)
1916 Enrolls in Sienna Academy of Music
1917-1918 Brief stint in army
1922 Graduates from Academy
1923 Opens his own shop in Cento
1923-1927 Tours Italy, Switzerland, France & Germany (and likely elsewhere) as concert guitarist
1926 Receives “professorship” from Sienna Academy
Instruments listed in distributor's catalog
1926-1927 Receives 3 Gold Medals for his violins
1927 Moves to Paris, working in uncle’s according business.
1928 Moves to London
Tours continue in Austria, Yugoslavia & Germany (and likely elsewhere)
1928-1929 Catalog of Maccaferri instrument line (Cento shop)
1929 Records 8 sides (pieces) for Columbia in Paris
1931 Meets with Selmer, moves to Paris to head new guitar production
1932 Production undergoing, resumes touring in Europe
1933 Severs relationship with Selmer
Fractures wrist and recovers for 6 months.
1934 Begins smaller club appearances as “the unknown guitarist”
1935 Starts new plastic reed business.
1939 Moves to New York
1950-1960s Develops plastic guitars and ukuleles
1989 Develops plastic violin

Passes away


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