Banjo-Mandolin Saltarello (Atelier Jacobacci) Decorated Resonator 1930's


The Jacobacci story begins at the beginning of the century, in Catania in Sicily, when the grandfather, a cutter of hardwood "worm" screws, decided to build mandolins and banjos to earn a better living. His son Vincent, born in 1895, anti-fascist activist, emigrated to France in the 1920s.

Arriving in France, the latter founded the family business Jacobacci in 1924 in a small workshop located in the working-class district of Ménilmontant in Paris. He first began the semi-industrial manufacturing of banjos and banjo-mandolins, then later, to a lesser extent, guitars.

“I made banjos at my father’s house until the 60s ,” says Roger Jacobacci. "The family workshop will see workers like Pappalardo, Buccolo and Di Mauro, all Sicilians. My father had a large clientele. He had up to three workshops. Two in Paris: one located rue de Ménilmontant, the other rue Duris. The third was based in Brussels. Before and after the war, he supplied the entire Benelux. And also all of North Africa. He had up to twelve workers, some of whom packed instruments from morning to evening. I remember packing crates for 100 banjos. He supplied the Parisian department stores, some of which took 3000 instruments per year."

In fact, the production of the Jacobacci workshop at this time carried different brands, produced for the stores or distributors of the time, as is the case on this Saltarello banjo.

We can cite as one of the biggest customers of the Jacobacci workshop at this time, Paul Beuscher, who included banjos from this workshop in his catalog from the 1930s under the Dolly brand for example.

Here the brand is Saltarello, which defines a dance of the same name (also called saltarelle in French) lively and full of joy, having its roots in the saltatio of the ancient Latins. Originally from central Italy, this dance flourished from the 13th century. A very common occurrence at that time in France, the establishment of Italian-sounding brands but only having Italian in the name.

Here for sale is a superb banjo-mandolin decorated in the style of its time, also wearing its original resonance skin.

Technical characteristics :

  • Table: Original Resonance Skin
  • Resonator: Mahogany veneered and decorated with acrolaque
  • Neck: Maple (crossed in the center by a thick 3-piece net)
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Width at nut: 28 mm
  • Radius: Flat
  • Frets: 17 frets (+1 fret 0)
  • Scale: 330 mm
  • Profile: C/V
  • Country of manufacture: France
  • Year: 1930's
  • Finish: Natural
  • Decorations: Resonator decorated with motifs in the Art Deco style / Key markers in white circles
  • Details: Normal signs of wear given its age / Delivered without cover

Like all our instruments, this banjo-mandolin has been restored and tuned.

It is therefore playable and also comfortable to play.

By blending the sound and playing of the mandolin as well as the sound of the banjo, this banjo-mandolin has everything you would expect from an instrument like this, with a vintage, resonant and harmonic sound.

Recently seen