I found this in ebay France. It is really unusual.
The French seem intrigued by double tops and that sort of thing. The original Selmer Django guitars had a second soundbox built inside; Gelas mandolins, both bowlback and flatback, had double tops - and they were cranked so that the strings pulled up on the bridge, rather than pressing down.
So far as I'm aware, neither variation was all that successful, or at least not so successful as to inspire much imitation. David Hodson, of Djangolin fame, also builds Selmer-style guitars, without the extra box. I think he says on his website that they are not worth the extra weight and hassle.
Still, you can be sure that our favorite instrument has been pretty widely experimented upon, and continues in that vein today.
French makers seem to have been fond of oddball designs with double tops. I've had a couple by Lucien Gelas, like this example for sale at Palm Guitars in Amsterdam :
The bridge is mounted on one top, which ducks under the one with the scratchplate & soundhole at an angle. He made guitars like that too !
Even the Virzi "Tone Producer" used by Gibson can be considered a "double top" in the same vein as Ceccherini. I've alwyas found instruments having two external soundboards a la Gelas (and now Maciocchi) to be grotesquely ugly.
In comparison with Maciocchi, Gelas looks like the top of the aesthetics!Originally Posted by (Eugene @ Sep. 30 2005, 12:41)
There`s a piccolo mandolin by Lucien Gelas examined by our good friend Alex Timmerman in his book "The mandolin and the guitar during the centuries". Alex says "one and a half tops" which is more correct than "double top", I think.
By the way do you know something more about M. Maciocchi? I have the feeling that he was also a composer of mandolin music and I have played even a piece by him called "Sur le Rives du Tage" or something like that. I`m not very good in French (not at all) and I quote this from memory. I`m not sure even if this is the same Maciocchi. #
Though from the side they look rather like they've met with an unfortunate accident ! #Originally Posted by (plami @ Sep. 30 2005, 20:09)
Plamen,Originally Posted by (plami @ Sep. 30 2005, 20:09)
I'm sure that I have come across his name somewhere before too, maybe on an instrument.
Anyway, a quick web search suggests that he may well have been a composer/arranger for mandolin. I came up with the following selection of works by Mario Maciocchi (1874-1955) :
Les Contes d'Hoffmann - Barcarolle Jacques Offenbach, transcription Mario Maciocchi
Fleur de Bohème
La petite Tonkinoise Vincent Scotto, arrgt Mario Maciocchi
Le Calife de Bagdad François Boieldieu, arr. Mario Maciocchi
Aux Arênes (Paso Doble)